HCL Technologies’ Q1 results show Infosys likely to be an outlier in FY21

MUMBAI: Now that the top four IT services firms listed in India have reported results, it’s fairly clear who has come out on top. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) kicked off the results season with a weak set of numbers, both in terms of revenues and profit margins. Wipro Ltd followed suit with a pleasant surprise on the profit margin front, thanks to massive cost-cutting; while Infosys Ltd left the Street’s estimates far behind both on revenues and profits. What’s more, it even stuck its neck out and said revenues are likely to be either flat or grow 2% in the current financial year.

HCL Technologies Ltd was the last among the top four to report Q1 results, and they have turned out to be average, especially in comparison with Infosys.

Revenues in dollar terms dropped 7.4% at HCL sequentially in the June quarter, even higher than the 7.1% drop at TCS. Infosys had reported a 2.4% decline in dollar revenue. But margins were better-than-expected.

he sharp fall in revenues notwithstanding, HCL managed to limit the drop in margins to 40 basis points. This is far better than the Street’s estimates, and also better than the 150 basis points drop in TCS’s margins. HCL said margins were aided by higher offshoring, reduction in expenditure, notably direct costs and sales and general administration expenses.

Importantly, HCL’s operating profit in dollar terms have fallen only 6.1% in the past two quarters, much better than the 14.6% drop in TCS’s earnings post-covid. Infosys has managed to maintain operating profit at the same level as two quarters ago.

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