India’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will consider a proposal to buy back shares at its board meeting to be held later this week. “…the Board of Directors will consider a proposal for buyback of equity shares of the company, at its meeting to be held on June 15, 2018,” TCS said in a BSE filing late last night. The Mumbai-based company, however, did not disclose any further details about the buyback proposal.
During its Q4 FY2018 earnings call, TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan had said the company’s intention is “to keep capital return close to 80-100 per cent of annual free cash flow”. Last year, TCS had undertaken a Rs 16,000-crore mega buyback offer, entailing 5.61 crore shares at a price of Rs 2,850 per equity share.
The buyback process had seen Tata Sons tendering over 3.60 crore shares, accounting for 64.2 per cent of the total shares bought back by the company. Other large investors who participated in the buyback were Government of Singapore, Copthall Mauritius Investments Ltd and EuroPacific Growth Fund.
For FY2018, TCS returned Rs 26,800 crore to shareholders in both dividends and the buyback. For the full year, TCS’ net cash from operations amounted to Rs 28,160 crore and free cash flow was Rs 26,360 crore. Share buybacks typically improve earnings per share and return surplus cash to shareholders, while also supporting share price during period of sluggish market condition.
Indian IT companies have been under pressure to return excess cash on their books to shareholders through generous dividends and buybacks. Many IT firms, including Infosys (Rs 13,000 crore) and HCL Technologies (Rs 3,500 crore) had undertaken buyback schemes last year. – Financial Express