HCL Technologies Ltd. (HCLT), the Indian software developer founded by billionaire Shiv Nadar, surged to a record after reporting profit that beat analysts forecasts.
The company’s shares surged 4.9 percent to 706.7 rupees at 11:09 a.m. in Mumbai, heading for the highest close since their debut in 2000. Net income soared 69 percent to a record 9.64 billion rupees ($176 million) in the quarter ended December, surpassing the 8.26-billion rupee median estimate of seven analysts compiled by Bloomberg News.
Revival of demand in the U.S., HCL’s biggest market, and Europe helped it report an unprecedented revenue in the third quarter, the company said in a statement. A majority of the 12 multi-million dollar contracts won in the quarter came from the two regions, according to the statement. HCL shares trade at 15 times estimated earnings, compared with a multiple of 19 times for Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) and 17.2 times for Infosys Ltd. (INFO), India’s biggest software exporters.
HCL’s “valuations are a shade below its peers so there is headroom for the stock to increase a further 10 to 12 percent by June,” Deven Choksey, managing director at K.R. Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt. in Mumbai, said by phone today. “HCL is moving to a higher earnings growth trajectory on the back of better pricing models and strength of its core business.”
Tata Consultancy on Jan. 14 reported a 23 percent jump in earnings to 35.5 billion rupees, exceeding analyst estimates. Infosys surged a record 17 percent on Jan. 11 after it raised its full-year sales forecast.
HCL’s sales increased 20 percent to 6.27 billion rupees in the December quarter from a year ago, the company said. Profit margin before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization widened to 23.8 percent, the data show.
Separately, HCL promoted Anant Gupta to the position of president and chief executive officer. Gupta replaces Vineet Nayar, who will continue as vice chairman and joint managing director until July, and as vice chairman thereafter.
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