UPDATE 1-Cognizant posts higher Q4 profit, shares up

giovedì 7 febbraio 2008 22:39
 

(Recasts; adds details, share movement)

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (CTSH.O: Quotazione), a provider of low-cost software development services in India, posted a higher fourth-quarter profit and guided first-quarter results above expectations, sending shares up more than 11 percent in after-hours trading.

The company said growth in fourth-quarter earnings was driven by strong growth across its business segments, service offerings and geographic regions.

Cognizant, which offers software programming and other information technology services, said fourth-quarter net income rose to $96.3 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $69.5 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, earnings were 36 cents a share.

Revenue rose 41 percent to $600 million.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 31 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $593.8 for the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the first quarter, Cognizant forecast earnings of 32 cents a share and revenue of at least $640 million. Excluding items, the company expects earnings of 36 cents a share.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 32 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $629.8 million.

Cognizant derives 70 percent of its revenue from the financial services and healthcare industries.

The company, which competes with India-based companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.BO: Quotazione), Infosys (INFY.BO: Quotazione) and Wipro Ltd (WIPR.BO: Quotazione), employs abut 75 percent of its workers in India.

Cognizant shares rose to $30.45 in after-hours trading, after closing at $27.28 on Nasdaq. The company has lost almost 40 percent of its share value on year-over-year basis. (Reporting by Purwa Naveen Raman in Bangalore)