In this blog, we have looked at Indian outsourcer, Infosys quite a few times. We found Infosys to be the best run of the Indian outsourcers with solid management. In the first six months of the year, the Indian currency appreciated by about 10% against the US dollar. This appreciation was partly precipitated by the Indian central bank keen to cut inflationary pressures. The exchange rate of the Indian currency is artificially maintained as the currency is not freely traded. This is similar to the way the Chinese government maintains its peg against the US dollar.
The problem for Indian companies that are exported focussed is that it increases their cost of operations. While some of the cost can be passed on to the customers, it will not be possible to pass on all the costs to the customers. In addition, Infosys and other Indian companies are facing increase in operating costs with wages increasing at double digit rates of 15%. This impact is probably not fully felt yet and show up further in the coming year. The wage increase is expected to be about 15% in the coming year as well.
The operating income margin in Q1 of 2006 for Infosys was 25.75%. The operating margin in Q1 of 2007 was 24.67%. In general, the business did well, with revenues and profits growing strongly. As usual, the stock market looks at future prospects as opposed to past results. Infosys is expected to continue to do well with growth in the 28-31% range for FY2008.
Other points of note is attrition rate of 4% in the quarter and 10% new employees in Q1 alone. Infosys expects to pay new employees higher wages compared to the ones hired before. Infosys now employs about 75000 people world wide. The increase in cost will increasingly be felt in the next couple of years which is reflected in the stock price.
The company has a strong balance sheet with about $1.6 billion in cash. The company is run well and this is reflected in the stock price. However, we feel that the company is fairly valued at current price levels.