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Cognizant shares fall on weak Q4 revenue outlook

Cognizant Technology Solutions forecast fourth-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as clients tighten their IT budgets in an uncertain economy, sending its shares down more than 3% in extended trading.

The Teaneck, New Jersey-based company expects current-quarter revenue between $4.69 billion and $4.82 billion, compared with market estimates of $4.86 billion, according to LSEG data.

Rising borrowing costs and fears of a slowdown are driving most companies to keep a tight leash on their spending, especially on non-core IT functions, which have been a lucrative revenue stream for technology service providers.

Indian IT services giants Infosys cut the upper end of its annual revenue forecast earlier in Oct, raising concerns about near-term demand, while Tata Consultancy Services reported weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Rival Accenture also forecast full-year earnings and first-quarter revenue below Wall Street targets in late Sept.

Cognizant now expects annual revenue in the range of $19.3 billion to $19.4 billion, compared with its prior estimates of $19.2 billion to $19.6 billion.

“We have narrowed our full-year revenue guidance range, which now reflects recent discretionary spending pressure and its impact to our near-term revenue expectations,” CFO Jan Siegmund said in a statement.

The company expects annual adjusted profit per share in the range of $4.39 to $4.42, from its prior estimate of between $4.25 and $4.48.

Revenue for the third quarter stood at $4.90 billion, slightly below estimates of $4.91 billion.

The company reported a profit of $1.04 per share, compared with $1.22 per share a year earlier. Reuters

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