TCS warns of weak Q4 earnings, stock dips to 3-month low

TCS warns of weak Q4 earnings, stock dips to 3-month low

Outlook also drags down other IT stocks.

Shares of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) closed at a 3-month low on the BSE after the company told analysts that it expects earnings in the March quarter to be weak. The scrip closed 3.84 per cent lower at Rs 2040.95 after falling more than 5 per cent intraday on Wednesday. 

The IT company said that its India business would continue to see sequential decline due to muted pre-election spending and expects the usual beginning-of-the-year seasonal weakness to play out in the fourth quarter.

TCS’ weak earnings outlook dragged down other IT stocks. Among sectoral indices, the BSE IT index (-2.24 per cent) was the biggest loser. Infosys (-2.32 per cent), Tech Mahindra (-1.03 per cent), Mphasis (-2.55 per cent) and HCL Technologies (-0.75 per cent) ended lower.

However, analysts feel Tata Consultancy Services scrip is likely to gain going forward, with the management giving positive guidance for FY15.


“The management has reiterated its optimistic view on the demand environment. Despite seasonal softness in Q4FY14 vis-à-vis Q3, it expects FY14 to be better than FY13 and FY15 better than FY14,” IDFC Institutional Securities said in a note after attending the pre-quarterly analyst meet.

In year-to-date, TCS scrip has shed 6 per cent. Experts feel further recovery in world economy would benefit the stock.

“TCS stock has modestly underperformed the broader markets recently and currently trades at approximately 18-times FY15E EPS. We see upside to our estimates if the global economy gathers momentum, and expect TCS’ valuations to inch closer to previous business cycle peak,” IDFC Institutional Securities added.

Certain brokerages reduced their target price on the stock. Deutsche Bank cut its target price from Rs 2,900 to Rs 2,800, Barclays cut it from Rs 2,298 to Rs 2,275, while Axis Capital cut it from Rs 2,676 to Rs 2,565.

The weakness in India business could have an impact on the scrip.

“India business which accounts 6.3 per cent to overall revenue is down approximately 19 per cent on reported US$ revenue from Q4FY13 owing to rupee depreciation and weakness in business environment due to upcoming elections.

The management expects this weakness to continue till August-September. Typically, the fourth quarter was seasonally strong quarter for India due to budget flush.

However, Q4FY14 is likely to see decline on sequential basis but may not be as severe as in Q3 (5.9 per cent decline sequentially),” IDBI Capital said in its report.

“TCS’s 4QFY14 outlook on revenue growth is a tad below our expectation of nearly 3 per cent Q-o-Q growth, but FY15 outlook of revenue growth being better than FY14 is reassuring,” wrote Nomura analysts Ashwin Mehta and Pinku Pappan in a client note.