Infosys Q3: In a First, Timing Changed; Guidance in Focus

Infosys Q3: In a First, Timing Changed; Guidance in Focus
In a break from the past, IT major Infosys will report its quarterly results in the afternoon hours. Infosys, which kick-starts earnings season in India, has traditionally reported numbers before Indian stock markets open at 9 a.m.

An Infosys official told NDTV that result timing has been changed so that the announcement comes closer to the opening of European and US stock markets. Q3 results will be announced at 12.30 p.m. on Friday, the official added.

Infosys' American Depositary Shares trade on NYSE Euronext London and Paris Markets. Infosys was the first Indian company to list in the US in 1999.

The move may have come after a nudge from CEO Vishal Sikka, who unlike previous heads is US-based, an analyst said.

According to Prabhudas Lilladher's Shashi Bhushan, one of the reasons for the shift could be to allow more time to board members to review quarterly results.

"Infosys results sometimes spilled over into the trading session crating a panic situation and anxiety among the analyst community... In two of the previous eight quarters, Infosys numbers came at 09.15 and 09. 17 as it was difficult for the board to wrap up the meeting," he said.

In 2013, Wipro - India's third largest outsourcer - had also changed its earnings schedule. It now announces quarterly results in the evening. TCS, India's biggest outsourcer, has traditionally announced earnings after the close of stock markets in India.

Q3 Result Preview:

Infosys is likely to revise downwards its annual guidance, currently set at 7-9 per cent for the full fiscal year 2014-15, analysts say. (Earnings preview)

"We believe Infosys could cut the lower end (which is at 7 per cent y-y) of its FY15F USD revenue growth guidance, due to currency headwinds in 3Q and likely further impacts of cross currency moves in 4QF," said Nomura.

Traders say a cut in sales outlook may lead to volatility in the stock because guidance has been a touchy issue with investors. On April 13, 2013, Infosys shares fell as much as 22 per cent after the company announced lower-than-expected sales outlook for 2013-14 fiscal year.

Dr Sikka's commentary explaining his strategy will also be closely watched, analysts say. The December quarter is the first full quarter when Dr Sikka has steered Infosys, so expectations are high. Since August 1, when Dr Sikka took charge, Infosys shares are up 18.50 per cent as compared to 8.50 per cent rise in the IT sub-index on the National Stock Exchange, reflecting the optimism around his appointment. (Read)

Infosys shares have done well despite the company lagging behind in operating performance vis-a-vis industry leader TCS. Infosys' strategy to control record high attrition and investment decisions to boost growth would also be closely tracked, analysts say.

On Thursday, Infosys shares closed 0.80 per cent higher at Rs 1,979.25 on the NSE. The stock underperformed the IT sub-index, which gained 0.94 per cent.


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