Backed by strong a business pipeline, IT giant Infosys today posted better-than-expected net profit of Rs2,369 crore for the October-December quarter and raised its annual revenue forecast that sent shares soaring nearly 15%.
Infosys scrip opened on a positive note, welcoming the results, and surged 16.09% to Rs2,693.80 at 1150 hrs.
Though net profit was down marginally compared to Rs2,372 crore in the same period last year, revenues (including that of acquired Swiss firm Lodestone) were up 12.1% to Rs10,424 crore.
Revenues stood at Rs9,298 crore in the year-ago period.
"We have done well in this quarter despite an uncertain environment. We continue to gain confidence from a strong pipeline of large deals," Infosys CEO and Managing Director S D Shibulal told reporters here.
This (client) addition has been one of the highest in the last few quarters, he said, adding that the net addition was 25 clients which excludes Lodestone.
"During the quarter, Infosys won eight large deals, amounting to over $700 million," Shibulal said.
In dollar terms, profit dipped by 5.2% to $434 million in the reported quarter, but revenues were up by 5.8% to $1,911 million in the quarter under review.
The company has raised its sales forecast for FY'13 to be "at least $7.45 billion" (from $7.34 billion stated earlier), including USD 104 million in additional revenue from Lodestone. This is about 6.5 per cent growth over last year.
Infosys had guided to a dollar revenue growth of 8-10% at the start of the fiscal, but later slashed it to five per cent, citing uncertain economic environment.
"Results were extraordinary and ahead of market expectations. After couple of disappointing quarters, Infosys has delivered a positive result on almost all fronts. Also, the management comments were positive. All these factors are driving the stock up," Ashika Stock Brokers Research Head Paras Bothra said.
Analysts had expected Infosys to further cut its annual sales growth after the company warned last month that US clients were cutting back on projects and there were delays in deal signing.
Shibulal expressed caution on the broader economic environment saying it "remains challenging".
"US is going through various challenges, banking and finance is going through various regulatory challenges, Europe is unstable. Mid quarter, we faced headwinds like extended furloughs and superstorm Sandy... We remain cautiously optimistic about the January-March quarter," Shibulal said.
The $100 billion Indian IT-BPO sector gets about 80% of its revenues from the US and and Europe.
October-December quarter is traditionally weak as the number of working days are fewer. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will announce its third quarter results on January 14, followed by HCL Technologies and Wipro on January 17 and 18.