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India shining on US bourses
Sanjay Krishnan in Chennai | December 31, 2003 09:03 IST
Indian information technology services companies listed abroad have truly arrived in style. Indian software giants lnfosys, Wipro and Satyam -- whose American Depository Receipts are listed on US exchanges -- today have market capitalisation and price earning ratios that are the envy of multinational behemoths such as Accenture, EDS and CSC.
Sample this. Infosys, with a turnover of $753 million in the last financial year, has a market cap of $12.13 billion; Wipro, with an annual turnover of $899 million, has a market cap of $11.26 billion; and Satyam, with an annual turnover of $459 million, has a market cap of $4.69 billion. All three companies have ADRs listed on the Nasdaq.
Contrast this with the multinational players. Accenture, with an annual turnover of $13.4 billion, has a market cap of $24.59 billion.
EDS has annual revenues of $21.5 billion but its market cap hovers around $11.64 billion. CSC has annual revenues of $11.35 billion but its market cap is $8.30 billion.
Only Accenture and IBM have higher market cap than the leading Indian players. IBM has a market cap of $160 billion.
Market sources said the spectacular run of the Indian companies was due to the higher value added by these companies than the mainline system integrators such as Accenture.
In the last two quarters alone, the stock price of India-based software service providers such as Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and Satyam have grown over 40 per cent each. For some time now, Satyam has been in the news for a possible acquisition by EDS and CSC.
Although Satyam has consistently denied it, this valuation may not seem attractive for the large players. On the flip side, industry experts feel that it may be the turn for Indian IT companies to look for acquisitions abroad, using the ADRs as currency.
Although integrating these companies culturally may be a mammoth task, technically, the possibility existed, sources said.
When Infosys recently said it would make a major announcement, global analysts were speculating on the possibility of Infosys acquiring a KPMG Bearing to a Keane. Incidentally, the market cap of Keane hovers around $969.1 million.
A look at the P/E ratios of India-based players validates the low-cost high-quality offshore delivery model gaining acceptance with investors.
Although the list is topped by Cognizant, which enjoys a unique best-of-both world model with a P/E of 62.31, Wipro enjoys a P/E of 61.71, followed by Infosys at 53.26 and Satyam at 46.28. In contrast, the P/E of Accenture is 24.99, CSC is 16.99 and IBM is 23.99.Clearly, investors and analysts see greater potential in the Indian stocks as compared to the global ones, which industry observers feel is the best news to end the year with.