Cognizant Maintains Full-year Guidance

Cognizant’s first quarter revenue rose 2.4% sequentially and the US-listed IT services company maintained 2017 revenue of between $14.56 billion and $14.84 billion, implying 8-10% growth.

Cognizant’s first quarter revenue rose 2.4% sequentially to $3.55 billion. Net profit stood at $557 million. The New Jersey-based company is focused on boosting its non-GAAP margin to 22% by 2019, from historic range of 19-20%. At end of Q1, this was 18.9%.

“We delivered solid results in the first quarter and continued to build our digital solutions portfolio, expand our skills, and enhance our engagements with clients,“ said chief executive officer Francisco D’Souza. He added that the compa ny was making good progress in accelerating its shift to digital services.

The company plans to boost hiring in the US, even as overall hiring has slowed. “Cognizant hired 4,000 US citizens and residents in 2016. In 2017 and beyond, we expect to significantly ramp up our US-based workforce,“ said Rajeev Mehta, president at Cognizant. He added that the company was reducing its dependence on the H-1B work visas.

“During the most recent filing period, on April 1, we applied for less than half the number of visas we sought last year. And we expect to further reduce our need for these visas going forward,“ he said.Mehta told ET in an interview, “This was not a retrenchment. This was part of our annual performance management process and the voluntary separation program is to ensure we have the right types of teams and people aligned to the clients demands. We continue to hire talent and reskill our existing talent.“

Cognizant let go over 6,000 employees in its last appraisal process, ET has previously reported. The company said it began a voluntary separation scheme for more senior employees last week.

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