IT stocks hit by recession fears: Is it all gloom & doom after boom?

Synopsis

“A sharp downgrade of growth estimates by the US Fed cannot be bullish for Indian technology companies. Demand has to moderate. Be careful buying the sector just because the stocks are near 52-week lows,” independent market expert Sandip Sabharwal said.

iStock

NEW DELHI: If there’s a recession in the US economy, can Indian IT services continue to bloom? That’s the question haunting investors in IT stocks ever since the US media started talking about the possibility of a recession. Even when the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell tried to soothe nerves by saying that “we’re not trying to induce a recession now”, the market wasn’t convinced enough.

Three bluechip IT stocks, bellwether

,

and

, hit their respective 52-week lows, a day after Powell went for the biggest rate hike since 1994. What was also concerning is the weakening outlook for economic growth in 2022, down to 1.7 per cent from 2.8 per cent earlier in March.

Nifty IT index also slipped to a 52-week low of 27,067.45 on Thursday. It has already lost one-third of its value year-to-date. Infosys is down 26 per cent YTD, Tech Mahindra 45 per cent, Wipro 40 per cent and

15 per cent.

“A sharp downgrade of growth estimates by the US Fed cannot be bullish for Indian technology companies. Demand has to moderate. Be careful buying the sector just because the stocks are near 52-week lows,” independent market expert Sandip Sabharwal said.

In FY20-21, Infosys earned more than 97 per cent of its revenues from exports. More than 67 per cent of its revenue came in US dollars, hinting at the dominant role which the US market plays in its balance sheet. The picture is no different for most other IT majors.

« Back to recommendation stories

I don’t want to see these stories because

SUBMIT

Even though the current demand environment remains extremely strong, Kotak Institutional Equities said profit warning from clients of IT companies and increasing external risks makes the assumption of 6-8 per cent global IT spending growth, unreasonable. “We moderate our stance and bake in normalised global IT spending growth of 3-4 per cent for CY2023E and 7 per cent for CY2022E. We cut our FY2023-FY2025E revenue estimates by 2-10 per cent for our coverage universe,” it said in a note to clients.

Global brokerage Nomura has also warned about the possibility of a potential slowdown in IT services demand in FY24.

Notwithstanding the recent depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, it said headwinds (~350bp) are expected to be higher than the tailwinds (~270bp) for the sector in FY23. Stating that it continues to prefer largecaps over midcaps, Nomura has downgraded TCS and LTI (from neutral to positive), Wipro, HCL and

(from buy to neutral) based on valuations. It is bullish only on Infosys and Tech Mahindra.

When asked about the impact of inflation on spending by clients, Tech Mahindra CFO Rohit Anand told ETMarkets that their pipeline seems to be robust. “We continue to see client demands in the field of IT and BPS. We will continue to monitor the situation and interact with our clients regularly to be updated if there are any changes required here.”

PMS fund manager Saurabh Mukherjea, who owns LTTS in his portfolio, said from a structural standpoint India is likely to be a big gainer due to the cost optimisation drive across the globe in a rising inflation or a slowing global growth scenario. “While engineering services is a relatively younger industry, data from the Indian IT sector shows that slower growth in US/Europe has a limited impact on outsourcing,” he said in a note to investors.

(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views and opinions given by the experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)

Print Edition

Read the Print Edition now!

Indulge in digital reading experience of ET newspaper exactly as it is.

Read Now

(What’s moving Sensex and Nifty Track latest market news, stock tips and expert advice on ETMarkets. Also, ETMarkets.com is now on Telegram. For fastest news alerts on financial markets, investment strategies and stocks alerts, subscribe to our Telegram feeds.)

Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.

moreless

Pick the best stocks for yourself

Powered by

Roy Walsh

Related post