Monday, 19 January 2015

TCS ends RIL's 23-year run as most profitable firm.....

CHENNAI: After 23 years, India has a new numero uno when it comes to net profit. Information technology major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) posted a net profit of Rs 5,328 crore for the quarter ended December, overtaking long-standing champion Reliance Industries Ltd. The oil to telecom behemoth saw its profit dip to Rs 5,256 crore — its first decline in nine quarters — as falling crude prices hurt its core business.

Though these figures are only for one quarter, it is still a significant moment in Indian business history as it's the first time that an IT company has topped the profit charts. Reliance itself had overtaken the previous leader, Tata Steel, on the back of India's economic reforms.

"Being the best growth company in an industry with huge growth potential, the performance of TCS is one that is sustainable in the long-run," Shashi Bhusan, senior research analyst at Prabhudas Lilladher Private Limited said.

Analysts said that though the outlook for the commodities sector in general and crude in specific is currently subdued, TCS grabbing the top spot underlines the emergence of the IT sector as force undeterred by macro-economic concerns and business cycles.

Commenting on the third quarter performance, TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran said, "We have maintained our momentum in a traditionally weak quarter for the IT industry. Based on our progress this quarter, we are well on our way to post industry-leading growth for FY15."

Reliance acknowledged that oil prices have approached the 'shut-in' zone and below $40/barrel, the quantity of oil would fall below production costs.

Industry experts added that global demand and currency movements are the main factors that have been deciding the fortunes of tech players and both these aspects are seeing a favourable turn.

"The inherent balance sheet strength of TCS commands a greater valuation and the sectors that it primarily caters to also hold it in good stead," said Mayuresh Joshi, VP, Institution at Angel Broking.

Research firm Gartner's 'Worldwide IT Spending Forecast', which is a leading indicator of technology trends, has forecast a 2.4% increase in global IT spending in 2015 compared to 2014 and expects it to reach a total of $3.8 trillion. On the other hand, energy consultant, Facts Global Energy (FGE), expect a possibility of crude prices heading towards $40/bbl in early 2015, as per their oil market update of January 2015.

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