Update on the Indian Equity Market:
On Monday, NIFTY50 rose for the seventh consecutive session to close at 18,477 (+0.8%), led by PSU BANK (+4.0%), METAL (+3.9%), and IT (+1.6%). The sectoral losers were PHARMA (-0.9%), and MEDIA (-0.7%). Among the stocks, HINDALCO (+5.2%), INFY (+4.8%), and TECHM (+3.7%) led the gainers while M&M (-2.2%), HCLTECH (-2.1%), and DRREDDY (-1.8%) led the laggards.
Wipro recently declared earnings for the quarter ended 30th September 2021, which beat street estimates. Mr. Thierry Delaporte, CEO, Wipro discussed the quarter gone by and his plans for the upcoming quarters with The Economic Times on 18th October 2021:
- Mr. Delaporte took charge as the CEO of the company during the Covid pandemic. During that time, the company moved into execution mode and it has been fast at defining the people who are going to drive the organisation forward.
- During the last year, the company has taken bold steps and changed about 30% of the top 200 leaders. It has been an unprecedented change and a lot of talent has also been brought in from outside. Wipro made its biggest acquisition, Capco which is delivering great results.
- The CEO’s responsibility was to ensure the company remains driven by a sense of purpose and pays attention to the world around it.
- What needed to change was assertiveness about strategy, running operations, making decisions, and sticking to it. The second thing he wanted to change was raising the bar in terms of ambition, and the third is a ruthless focus on accountability and outcome.
- Wipro will deliver ~30% year-on-year constant currency revenue growth in 3QFY22E. He expects the growth to continue in FY23E as well, as the company is firing on all cylinders. Wipro will continue to do more acquisitions and possibly a big one.
- The best performing company in the IT industry is the one with the best talent in terms of quality – people who understand the business and how technology can be leveraged to transform. These are the people Wipro is hiring. The talent is also in terms of quantity because of the increased demand and higher attrition levels.
- Wipro plans to integrate a lot more freshers. In FY22E, Wipro plans to hire about 16,000-17,000 and 25,000-30,000 in FY23E.
- He expects higher attrition to continue for the next 3-4 quarters. In 2QFY22, Wipro’s attrition was 20.5% and he expects it to worsen. There’s always seasonality, in the last quarter of the year and people tend to stick around, according to Mr. Delaporte.
- Wipro would be investing more in 5G and artificial intelligence than in quantum computing right now. He is betting big on engineering services.
Asset Multiplier Comments
- The IT sector has been a beneficiary of the increased investment in technologies due to shifting to work from anywhere post the pandemic. While revenue growth is expected for the quarters to come, the sector was also a beneficiary of lower operating costs.
- As people return to the office for work, some of these costs are expected to come back. The increased pace of vaccinations around the world will likely increase people traveling for work. The talent war has already led to companies rolling out 2-3 wage hikes in a year. With the costs increasing, Wipro like all other IT companies may face margin pressures in the near term.
Consensus Estimate: (Source: market screener website)
- The closing price of WIPRO was ₹ 711/- as of 18-October-2021. It traded at 32x/ 28x/ 25x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 22/ 25/ 28 for FY22E/FY23E/FY24E respectively.
- The consensus target price of ₹ 676/- implies a PE multiple of 24x on FY24E EPS of ₹ 28/-.
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