Wipro's Q1 guidance wipes off Rs 7,712 crore from market cap

Wipro's Q1 guidance wipes off Rs 7,712 crore from market cap
Shares in IT services company Wipro fell as much as 11.25 per cent today after the company announced flat sequential growth for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, and weaker-than-expected guidance for the first quarter of the financial year 2013-14 on Friday.

On the National Stock Exchange, the stock fell to Rs 327.50, wiping off Rs 7,712 crore from its market cap to Rs 83,084 crore.

Wipro joined No. 2 player Infosys in delivering tepid revenue outlook.

At 1.04 pm, the Wipro stock was trading at Rs 337.75, down 8.38 per cent, on the Bombay Stock Exchange. On the Sensex, Wipro remained the worst performing stock.

"For 4Q FY13, Wipro came out with lower-than-expected set of results on the revenue as well on the margins front. For Q1 FY14, the management's dollar revenue guidance is also below our and Street expectations as Q1 traditionally is a strong quarter for IT companies," Angel Broking said in a report.

All the big four IT stocks were trading with losses. Infosys was down 2.20 per cent, HCL Technologies fell 2.15 per cent, while Tata Consultancy Services traded 1.5 per cent lower.

The broader BSE IT index traded 2.39 per cent lower while the benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.40 per cent higher at 19,092.78.

Wipro, whose customers include Citigroup and Apple, projected first-quarter revenue for its IT services business to be in a range of $1.58 billion to $1.61 billion, a decline of 0.6 per cent to a rise of 1.6 per cent over the previous quarter. That compares with a range of 1.5-4 per cent that analysts were expecting.

The company shrugged off concerns on its Q1 guidance, saying the first quarter has traditionally always been weak for the company, and also attributed the weak guidance to a delay in the closure of deals.

Speaking to NDTV after the fourth quarter results were announced, Suresh Senapaty, executive director and chief financial officer of Wipro, said the company's business mix, especially of India and the Middle East, makes the first quarter weak, and that business would pick up in the second quarter of the financial year 2013-14.

"The management expects growth to pick up from 2QF14 onwards. Changing business dynamics with a focus on fixed price and outcome-based projects could have some implication on reported volume and realisations and, thus, the management intends to discontinue giving volume and realization numbers from the coming quarter and advises to focus on revenue numbers to understand underlying business momentum," brokerage SBICAP Securities stated in a note.

For the fourth quarter, India's third-largest IT services posted a net profit of Rs. 1,729 crore, a 17 per cent increase year-on-year, but flat compared to the December quarter. Total revenues came in at Rs. 11,026 crore, a 12 per cent increase year-on-year, but an insignificant rise from the last quarter. It had reported revenues of Rs. 11,025 crore and a net profit of Rs. 1,716 crore for the third quarter ended December 2012.
"Wipro reported disappointing 4QF13 performance and also guided at a weak 1QF14. We expect Wipro's growth rates to lag behind its peers in the near term. We have lowered our dollar revenue expectations to 7.5 per cent / 12 per cent for F14e/F15e and factored in demerger of non-IT business into our earnings estimates. We maintain a 'hold' recommendation with a target price of Rs 380," SBICAP Securities added in the note.

With inputs from agencies

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