Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2017 non-GAAP earnings of $1.03 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6 cents and increased 18.4% from the year-ago quarter. The figure was better than management’s expectation of 98 cents.
The company recorded a one-time provisional income tax expense of $617 million related to the Tax Reform Act, which reduced GAAP earnings by $1.04 per share in the fourth quarter. This one-time expense was primarily attributable to the deemed repatriation tax on undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries.
Revenues of $3.83 billion were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but improved 10.6% year over year driven by growth in all the four domains. The figure was within management’s guidance of $3.79-$3.85 billion.
2017 at a Glance
In 2017, earnings increased 11.2% year over year to $3.77 per share.
Revenues increased 9.8% to $14.81 billion. Segment-wise, Financial services (38.1% of revenues) Healthcare (28.8% of revenues), Products and Resources (20.5% of revenues) and Communications, Media and Technology (12.6% of revenues) improved 5%, 10.1%, 14.3% and 17.7%, respectively.
The results indicate the company’s ability to harness the ongoing digital transition. Moreover, Cognizant is benefiting from accretive acquisitions. The company completed the acquisition of Netcentric and Zone in the fourth quarter.
Further, the company has attained deep industry expertise and knowledge of the domains through partnerships with top firms like Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) and SAP SE (SAP - Free Report) .
This strategy has enabled Cognizant to deliver more value to clients and capitalize on new opportunities. It has also provided a competitive edge against the likes of Accenture (ACN - Free Report) , Infosys and Wipro Ltd.
Segment-wise, Financial services (37.3% of revenues), which includes insurance, banking and transaction processing, grew 5.4% year over year to $1.43 billion. The segment was driven by double-digit growth in insurance companies and mid-tier banks, which offset the softness arising from large banks.
Healthcare (29.4% of revenues) grew 11.9% year over year to $1.09 billion. Top-line growth was driven by steady demand across payer clients and increasing interest in the company’s digital, analytics, cloud and virtualization solutions.
Products and Resources (20.4% of revenues) continued its growth momentum and improved 13.7% year over year to $782 million driven by growth in manufacturing, logistics, energy and utilities clients.
Communications, Media and Technology (12.9% of revenues) were $494 million, up 19% from the year-ago quarter.
Region-wise, revenues from North America increased 8.5% year over year and represented 77% of total revenues.
Revenues from the United Kingdom increased 5.1% year over year (7.5% of revenues). Rest of Europe continued to show strength with revenues soaring 31.7% from the year-ago quarter. As a result, Europe revenues increased 18.1% from the year-ago quarter to $632 million.
Rest of the World (6.5% of revenues) surged 17.5% to $249 million.
Selling, general & administrative (SG&A) expenses, as a percentage of revenues, declined 280 basis points (bps) from the year-ago quarter to 18.3%.
Cognizant reported non-GAAP operating margin of 19.7%, which expanded 100 bps from the year-ago quarter.
In the quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, cash and cash equivalents (and short-term investments) were $5.06 billion, up from $4.71 billion reported as of Sep 30, 2017.
Cognizant is raising the quarterly cash dividend by 33% to 20 cents per share. Moreover, the company has also formed Cognizant U.S. Foundation, with initial grant of $100 million. The foundation will support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and digital education and skills initiatives for U.S. workers and students.
For the first quarter of 2018, Cognizant expects revenues in the range of $3.88-$3.92 billion. Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be at least $1.04 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues and earnings is pegged at $3.88 billion and $1.01, respectively.
For 2018, revenues are projected in the range of $16.00-$16.30 billion. Non-GAAP earnings are projected to be at least $4.53 per share.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues and earnings is pegged at $16.18 billion and $4.36, respectively.
Cognizant has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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