Updated from 8:21 a.m. EST
, a huge but lightly traded software-services company, said Friday that fiscal third-quarter results beat expectations as revenues grew 38% year over year. Infosys simultaneously raised its guidance for its fourth-quarter and full-year results.
The Indian-owned company posted a profit of $72.1 million, or 54 cents a share, on revenue of $275.9 million in the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with 40 cents a share in the year-ago period and a consensus estimate of 51 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.
Infosys also told investors to expect consolidated earnings per share of 55 cents for its fiscal fourth quarter and $2.02 a share for the full fiscal year ending in March. Consensus estimates were 53 cents and $1.98, respectively.
Nevertheless, Infosys American depository receipts (the equivalent of shares in a domestic company) were recently off 46 cents, or 0.5%, to $97.75, following the preopening announcement.
Ashish Thadhani, who follows the company for Brean Murray, noted that Infosys tends to guide very conservatively, so its likely that the solid performance was already priced into the stock. Additionally, Infosys shares rose about 37% in 2003, and were up over 17% since Dec. 17 heading into Friday's session. (Brean Murray does not have a banking relationship with Infosys.)
Based in India, Infosys has a market cap of about $12 billion, and gets about 75% of its revenue from the U.S. market. But only about 10% of the company's stock is traded in the U.S., although a recent change in rules on the Indian exchange will make it easier for shares to be bought and sold in this country, Thadhani said. Average U.S. daily trading of Infosys ADRs for the past 30 days is only 228,600 shares, according to Baseline.
The company said it added about 30 new customers and 3,666 new employees during the quarter.
Infosys' raised guidance capped a week in which a number of software markers preannounced better-than-expected results, most notably
, but also