Cognizant's fourth quarter results were solid and the company is projecting revenue growth of about 17 percent for 2013 with better-than-expected earnings.
For the fourth quarter, the technology outsourcing and consulting company, reported earnings of $278.8 million, or 92 cents a share, on revenue of $1.95 billion, up 17 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 99 cents a share. Wall Street was looking for fourth quarter earnings of 91 cents a share on revenue of $1.95 billion.
Cognizant, which has been growing at a faster clip, than rivals such as Wipro and Infosys said it was benefiting from secular shifts to the cloud and mobile delivery in most industries. On a conference call with analysts, CEO Francisco D'Souza said:
Across financial services, health care, life sciences, retail, manufacturing media, information servies and high tech the combination of economic shifts and transformation driven by social, mobile, analytics and cloud are creating game changing opportunities. These clients continue to feel the ongoing pressure of cost containment and efficiency, however have the mandate to build new and different capabilities. Their agenda is a combination of run better and run different.
For 2012, Cognizant reported earnings of $1.05 billion, or $3.44 a share, on revenue of $7.35 bilion, up 20 percent from a year ago. Cognizant ended the year with 156,700 employees.
As for the outlook, Cognizant continues to expect strong growth. The company said that first quarter revenue will be at least $2 billion with non-GAAP earnings of $1.01 a share. GAAP earnings in the first quarter will be 92 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $2 billion.
For 2013, Cognizant projected revenue of at least $8.6 billion, up 17 percent from a year ago. Earnings for 2013 will be $3.95 a share on a GAAP basis and $4.31 a share non-GAAP. Wall Street was looking for 2013 earnings of $4 a share on revenue of $8.57 billion.
Here's a look at Cognizant's sales by industry and geography. Financial services remains the company's largest vertical.