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Wipro Shares Decline as Profit Misses Analyst Estimates

Wipro Ltd. (WPRO), India’s third-largest software exporter, fell to its lowest level in nine months in Mumbai trading after posting first-quarter profit that missed analyst estimates.

The shares declined 3.5 percent to 343.90 rupees, the lowest intraday price since October, as of 10:22 a.m., while the benchmark Sensitive Index gained 0.2 percent. Net income rose 19 percent to 15.8 billion rupees in the quarter ended June 30, Bangalore-based Wipro said today. The median of 42 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was a 16 billion-rupee profit.

Wipro joined larger Infosys Ltd. (INFO) in reporting earnings that trailed analyst estimates amid slower spending on information technology by large corporations. Global IT spending may increase less this year than in 2011 because of the euro-zone crisis, a slowdown in China and a weaker recovery by the U.S. economy, Stamford, Connecticut-based researcher Gartner Inc. said this month.

“The results are below my expectations,” said Pralay Kumar Das, an analyst at Elara Securities India Pvt. in Mumbai, who rates the stock reduce, the equivalent of sell. “The guidance for next quarter is weak considering it’s seasonally the strongest quarter, and pricing has gone down.”

Slow Spending

Infosys, India’s second-biggest software exporter, cut its fiscal-year sales growth forecast on July 12, warning of “challenges” in the global economic situation that are eroding spending by large corporations. Infosys reported first-quarter net income that lagged behind estimates for the first time in four quarters.

By contrast, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., the nation’s largest software exporter, said it would grow at a faster rate than the industry, pointing to a “pretty healthy” pipeline of outsourcing deals.

Global spending on information technology may expand 3 percent this year to $3.6 trillion, compared with a 7.9 percent pace last year, Gartner said in a July 9 report.

First-quarter net sales rose 24 percent to 106.2 billion rupees, Wipro said today. That compared with the 105.9 billion- rupee median of 50 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Wipro has declined 14 percent in Mumbai trading this year, compared with a 9.4 percent gain in the Sensex and a 4.7 percent gain by Tata Consultancy.

Revenue at the company’s information-technology services business may range from $1.52 billion to $1.55 billion in the current quarter, Wipro said in a statement today. Sales at the unit in the three months ended June were $1.54 billion, it said.

Wipro, which provides services such as designing and building software programs, product-engineering and back-office support to companies including BP Plc (BP/), William Morrison Supermarkets Plc. and Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI), added 37 new clients to end the quarter with a total of 919 customers.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ketaki Gokhale in Mumbai at kgokhale@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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