October 17, 2018 / 4:19 AM / a month ago

BUZZ-India's Infosys rises after Q2 profit beat

** Shares of India’s second largest software services exporter, Infosys Ltd, rise as much as 3.8 pct to 721.8 rupees

** Stock is among top pct gainers on NSE index

** Q2 profit of 41.10 bln rupees ($559.64 mln) was above market expectations, boosted by large deal wins

** Co on Tuesday retained FY revenue growth guidance with the CEO saying the demand for its services remained strong

** Morgan Stanley analysts say co starting to show similar vertical trends to those of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS); strong deal win and net headcount addition, points to a strong demand environment

** Citi believes 2018 will be marginally better than 2017 for Indian IT, prefers Infosys over TCS given better visibility post Q2

** Macquarie raises PT to 775 rupees, retains “outperform” rating, but says Infosys still remains a work in progress, and, hence, 20 pct valuation discount to TCS is warranted

** Jefferies raises PT on U.S.-listed stock to $11.40 from $11, rating “buy”

** EBIT margin of 23.7 pct was 80bps below estimate and investments are likely to accelerate in H2 vs H1 suggesting further margin pressure at least in the near-term - Jefferies

** More than 6.1 shares traded as of 0413 GMT, 0.7 times their 30-day moving avg of 8.5 mln shares

** 33 of 45 brokerages rate the stock “buy” or higher, nine “hold” and three “sell” or lower; their median PT is 763 rupees ($1 = 73.4400 Indian rupees)

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