* Q3 net profit 35.5 bln rupees, vs 32.4 bln forecast
* Number of $100 mln per year clients up to 16 from 14
* Reiterates will top industry growth estimate by Nasscom
* Shares closed up 2.2 percent before results
By Aradhana Aravindan and Harichandan Arakali
MUMBAI/BANGALORE, Jan 14 Tata Consultancy
Services Ltd, India's No.1 software services exporter,
topped expectations with a 23 percent rise in quarterly profit
and reiterated it should beat a closely watched industry growth
India's $100 billion IT services sector is under pressure to
sustain growth as clients in key markets, including Europe and
the United States, have been keeping a tight grip on tech
spending because of global economic uncertainty.
"We are finishing the calendar year very well and look very
confident going into the future in Q4 and FY14," chief executive
N Chandrasekaran told reporters on Monday, adding he felt
positive about clients' technology budgets.
The number of clients contributing $100 million or more
annual revenue rose to 16 in the quarter, from 14, TCS said,
adding it also won 31 new clients in the period.
The company, which does not give detailed revenue forecasts,
said it still expected to beat an industry export revenue growth
estimate made by the National Association of Software and
Service Companies (NASSCOM).
In November, NASSCOM said the sector was likely to meet the
lower end of its revenue growth outlook of 11-14 percent for the
fiscal year to end-March.
TCS said net profit for the three months to December rose to
35.5 billion rupees ($652 million), compared with a forecast for
32.4 billion in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Infosys Ltd had fuelled expectations the sector
may be turning a corner when the second-ranked software group
raised its full-year revenue forecast on Friday after new
clients and an acceleration in IT spending by existing customers
helped it post a stronger-than-expected profit.
TCS's revenue, in dollar terms, rose 3.3 percent
quarter-on-quarter to $2.95 billion. That compared with a 6.3
percent rise at Infosys, which was helped by its purchase of
Swiss consultancy Lodestone Holdings.
"This quarter's numbers are not that exciting, but the
management's commentary on FY14 is more positive," said Rikesh
Parikh, vice president for markets strategy and equities at
Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai.
Shares in TCS, valued at $48 billion, closed 2.2 percent
higher at 1334.50 rupees ahead of the results, adding to
Friday's 3.8 percent gain on unexpectedly strong results from
rival Infosys, which itself ended 3.5 percent higher on Monday.
The broader market was up 1.2 percent.
Wipro Ltd, the country's No.3 software services
provider, may report a quarterly profit gain of 6.7 percent,
analysts said. The company, spinning off non-information
technology businesses to focus on IT, will announce earnings on
Fourth-ranked HCL Technologies Ltd was expected to
report a 44 percent jump in quarterly profit on Jan. 17.