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Techs move southward
April 10, 2003 15:53 IST
Across-the-board selling in techs was the order of the day after Infosys' guidance for the current year was deemed as a sore disappointment by investors.
All three Sensex tech components including Infosys Technologies (down 15.63% to Rs 3,508) plunged as a result. Satyam Computer plummeted 9.06% to Rs 162.10 and HCL Technologies slumped 7.75% to Rs 153.45.
The intense selling wrecked the status of the BSE Sensex - down 50.31 points to 3,090.94 at 11:00 IST.
As expected, sentiment over Infosys Technologies dominated sentiment today. In fact, as market expectations were belied, investors spurned Infosys and other tech majors as well.
Analysts say the market is concerned that Infosys' bottom line could take a beating in future. Operating margins are likely to be under tremendous pressure following the company's subdued future guidance for FY 2003-03.
For FY 2003-04, the company has projected a top line growth of 21.6-23.6% to Rs 4,408-4,479 crore (Rs 44.08-44.79 billion) on an EPS of Rs 161-163 crore (Rs 1.61-1.63 billion), which works out at a 11.3-12.7% growth on a year-on-year basis. Analysts had expected Infosys' guidance for FY 2003-04 to be - top line growth of between 20-25% and a net profit growth of 17-20%.
Infosys Technologies said its profit margins were hit by pricing pressures on outsourcing contracts. The U.S.-Iraq war has also affected the company's outlook for the year ahead. In addition, the incidence of SARS in Asia has set off a cancellation of visits by clients.
Just as trading commenced today, Infosys announced its Q4 and FY 2002-03 ended 31 March 2003 results. For the fourth quarter, the Bangalore-based software major posted a 23% rise in net profit to Rs 259 crore (Rs 2.59 billion) on net sales of Rs 1,020 crore (Rs 10.2 billion). The company's quarterly net profit growth of 23% came in on the lower side of estimates by capitalmarket.com (in an analysts poll) - a 23-33.6% rise in net profit to Rs 259-281 crore (Rs 2.59-2.81 billion) and sales of between Rs 980 crore (Rs 9.8 billion) and Rs 1,043 crore (Rs 10.43 billion), up 44-53.3%.
The company, itself, had predicted a net profit of Rs 259-261 crore (Rs 2.59-2.61 billion) and an income from software development services and products of between Rs 975 crore (Rs 9.75 billion) and Rs 989 crore (Rs 9.89 billion). The company set a final dividend of Rs 14.50 per share.
Wipro (down 17.64% to Rs 1,015), Hughes Software (down 12.59% to Rs 177.40), Geometric Software (down 9.54% to Rs 435), Mphasis BFL (down 9.28% to Rs 580), Mastek (down 35.20% to Rs 363), Digital GlobalSoft (down 12.50% to Rs 521.70) and VisualSoft Technologies (down 11.32% to Rs 138.70) also nose-dived in morning trades. More Hot Pursuits
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