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Cognizant Q1 Profit Climbs; Cuts 2012 View; To Buyback Shares

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH) posted higher first-quarter GAAP net income of $243.65 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with last year's $208.33 million, or $0.67 per share. Excluding stock-based compensation expense, non-GAAP earnings per share advanced to $0.86 from $0.71 a year earlier. On average, 24 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.79 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Revenue totaled $1.71 billion, up 24.8% from $1.37 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts estimated revenues of $1.71 billion for the quarter.

Cognizant's Chief Executive stated, "Due to a slower than anticipated acceleration in demand as we entered the second quarter, we are adopting a more conservative stance for the remainder of the year and revising our guidance to at least 20% revenue growth for 2012."

Looking forward to the second quarter of 2012, earnings per share are estimated to be $0.80 on a GAAP basis and $0.87 on a non-GAAP basis, excluding estimated stock-based compensation expense, with revenue anticipated to be at least $1.79 billion. Analysts project earnings of $0.83 per share on $1.84 billion revenue for the second quarter.

For 2012, Cognizant now sees earnings per share to be at least $3.36 on a GAAP basis, and $3.62 on a non-GAAP basis, as well as revenue now expected to be at least $7.34 billion. Analysts estimate earnings per share of $3.45 and revenue of $7.54 billion for the full year. Earlier, the company forecasted earnings per share of at least $3.43 on a GAAP basis, and $3.69 on a non-GAAP basis, with 2012 revenue anticipated to be at least $7.53 billion.

Further, the company's board has authorized the expansion of its existing share repurchase program by $400 million, bringing the total authorization under the current repurchase program to $1 billion. To date, $423 million of shares have been bought back in this program. In addition, the board has extended the expiration date for the repurchase program to December 31, 2013.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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