Infocrossing (IFOX ), a Leonia (N.J.) provider of info tech outsourcing services to midsize U.S. companies, competes directly with big outsourcers in India. Even so, its stock has been climbing, from 6.60 in November to 12.48 on Apr. 26. One reason: Its pipeline of prospective business is at its strongest since the tech boom, says Ephraim Fields of Claurus Capital. Perhaps a more exciting reason: There's talk it could be a takeover target for a major outsourcer in India that wants to establish a presence in the U.S. Also rumored as a possible buyer is Accenture (ACN ), which is already doing business with Infocrossing, says Fields. David Gold of investment firm Sidoti, who rates Infocrossing a "buy," with a 12-month target of 16, says that with 90% of its revenues on a recurring basis and a 50% profit margin, Infocrossing "is on the cusp of becoming an industry force." He, too, believes Infocrossing may be thinking of selling, either to Accenture or to an Indian outsourcer. He forecasts the company will earn 29 cents a share in 2006 and 56 cents in 2007, vs. 18 cents in 2005. Infocrossing CEO Zach Lonstein declined comment on the buyout talk. But it would make sense, he said, for Indian outsourcers to set up shop in the U.S. "for strategic and political reasons."
Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.
By Gene G. Marcial