* Shares fall as much as 8.1 pct after Q1 results, outlook
* Brokerage Emkay downgrades Wipro on sluggish growth in key mkts (Adds analyst comments, details, updates share price)
By Devidutta Tripathy and Indulal PM
MUMBAI, July 25 (Reuters) - Shares in Wipro Ltd fell as much as 8.1 percent on Friday after India’s third-largest IT services exporter reported quarterly revenue growth in its key U.S. market that lagged its larger rivals.
Wipro competes with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd in India’s more than $108 billion IT outsourcing industry and the United States is the biggest market for all three companies.
Shares in Bangalore-based Wipro fell the day after the company said its IT services revenue from the United States grew 0.8 percent in the June quarter from the previous quarter, lagging 3.7 percent growth for Infosys and 5.5 percent growth for Tata Consultancy.
Wipro also reported a lower-than-expected growth in its quarterly IT revenues and net profit.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty associated with the company. Even IT specific funds are betting on the bigger ones,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, a New Delhi-based chief strategist at brokerage SMC Global Securities.
Wipro shares, valued at more than $23 billion, were trading 4.8 percent lower by 0728 GMT in a Mumbai market that edged down 0.8 percent. The stock is down 1.8 percent this year, lagging an about 8 percent rise in the sector index.
Wipro’s revenue and profit growth is expected to be slower compared with peers such as Tata Consultancy, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp and HCL Technologies Ltd , Nomura analysts wrote in a research note on Friday.
Wipro’s weaker “competitive positioning” in the developed markets compared to rivals and sluggish growth in key client sectors such as retail and financial services has made the company Nomura’s “least preferred choice” among large IT firms.
Mumbai brokerage Emkay Global downgraded Wipro’s stock after the results to “hold” from “accumulate”, citing weak operating metrics performance and sluggish growth in the United States and Europe.
Wipro got nearly half of its IT services revenue in the June quarter from the Americas, its biggest export market, and about 30 percent from Europe. (Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Miral Fahmy)