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Last Updated : Feb 09, 2017 08:21 AM IST | Source: PTI

Cognizant Q4 net dips 1.8%; okays $3.4bn in buybacks,dividends

US-based IT major Cognizant today posted a 1.8 percent fall in net profit at USD 416 million for the December quarter, while its board okayed a plan to return USD 3.4 billion to shareholders over two years.


US-based IT major Cognizant today posted a 1.8 percent fall in net profit at USD 416 million for the December quarter, while its board okayed a plan to return USD 3.4 billion to shareholders over two years.


Cognizant, which competes with Indian firms like TCS and Infosys, had posted net profit of USD 424 million in the year-ago period. Its revenue stood at USD 3.46 billion, up 7.1 percent from the year-ago period.


The company recorded out-of-period corrections during the third and fourth quarters (USD 1 million) of 2016 related to certain payments that impacted the bottomline.

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During 2016, the company saw its revenue growing 8.6 percent to USD 13.49 billion, meeting the company's topline forecast of USD 13.47-13.53 billion. Its net profit fell 4.3 percent to USD 1.55 billion in 2016.


For 2017, Cognizant expects its revenue to be in the range of USD 14.56-14.84 billion, which translates to 7.9-10 percent growth.


It has given a revenue forecast of USD 3.51-3.55 billion for the January-March 2017 quarter.


Also, Cognizant has entered into a "cooperation agreement" with activist shareholder Elliott Management and appointed three independent directors to its board.


"As we enter 2017, the time is right for us to accelerate the shift to digital services and solutions to meet the growing demands from our clients to transform their business models in the face of the rapid business and technology shifts disrupting their industries," Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Francisco D'Souza said.


To meet this opportunity, Cognizant is evolving its business model to focus on aggressively scaling its digital capabilities, driving efficiencies in core business and launching a robust capital return programme, he added.


Cognizant will aggressively scale its digital capabilities across geographies and industry segments through both organic investments, in areas such as re-skilling and new technology practices, and through acquisitions.


"The company is intensifying its M&A efforts to expand intellectual property, industry expertise, and platform and technology capabilities, by focusing primarily on strategic tuck-in acquisitions," it added.


During the quarter, Cognizant added about 4,400 (net) people, taking the headcount to 2,60,200 employees globally.


The annualised attrition stood at 15.6 percent during the quarter.


On the issue of possible work visa clampdown in the US, Cognizant President Rajeev Mehta said the company will "continue to build our team in the US and in other geographies around the world where we operate".

About 70-75 percent of the company's workforce is based in India.



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First Published on Feb 8, 2017 10:00 pm
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