Sensex closes higher; TCS crosses $100 bn in market capitalisation
Reuters | Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian shares ended higher for a third consecutive session on Monday, driven by gains in IT and financial stocks, with software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) crossing $100 billion in market capitalisation.

The benchmark BSE Sensex closed up 0.1 percent at 34,450.77, while the broader NSE Nifty ended 0.2 percent higher at 10,584.70.

TCS shares ended down 0.2 percent after hitting a record high earlier in the session.

TCS on Monday became the first Indian technology company to hit the $100 billion market capitalisation mark, riding on the back of record quarterly profit and a weaker rupee.

Energy-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd, led by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is the only other Indian company that had breached the $100 billion mark, way back in 2007.

Reliance’s market value was $88.8 billion, as of Friday’s close, having slipped with the rupee depreciating roughly 40 percent against the dollar in the past decade.

Shares of TCS, India’s biggest software services exporter, climbed as much as 4.6 percent to a record high of 3,557.9 rupees ($53.73) on Monday, extending gains for the third straight session after the company posted its biggest-ever quarterly profit last week.

“It’s great news not just for TCS, even for the Indian equity market as a whole,” said Urmil Shah, an analyst at IDBI Capital.

“TCS has done most of the things right over a long-term ... a stable management, adapted to industry changes better and invested in it at the right time.”

Mumbai-based TCS, which started trading in 2004, is a unit of Tata Group, one of India’s oldest companies that now sells cars, power, tea and chemicals through its various subsidiaries.

Last week, TCS said it expects a rebound in spending by its key banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) clients this financial year, helped by strong demand for technology related to security, blockchain, and analytics.

Fourth-quarter profit rose to 69.04 billion rupees, beating analysts’ average estimate of 67.98 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

“Growth outlook for TCS is in double digits over the next two years and that stands out when compared to its peers,” Shah said.

TCS’ rivals include Infosys Ltd, which reported a higher quarterly profit and gave a healthy revenue forecast for the year earlier this month even as its margin guidance disappointed investors.

Out of the 45 analysts covering TCS, 19 have a “buy” or higher rating, 18 a “hold”. The rest rate it “sell” or lower.

TCS shares have risen 26 percent so far this year, compared with Infosys that has gained 13 percent.

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