Let’s be blunt here. Infosys is not the respected company it has been. It does not deserve to be called an IT bellwether anymore and clearly the current management is absolutely no patch on the kind of leadership it had some years back.
Just imagine this kind of performance under Nandan Nilekani and Mohandas Pai. Even if they would have come with an occasional shocker, they would stand up to tough questions and not stand behind the comfort of their own corporate communication manager asking them silly and easy questions.
Look at the guidance. 6-10%. Why not 2-14%? That also has same median or even 0-16% for that matter? Let’s be clear here – Infosys guidance has ZERO meaning for the market now. It does not respect the current management and it should not do it in near future too. And they haven’t declared EPS guidance because they have no clue on what will be their pricing, margins or anything for that matter. And what will be amazing? Expect TCS and HCL Tech to rub salt into their wounds over next 2 weeks by maintaining their standards (just like Infy maintained its standards).
And one word for the analysts too who keep saying this is a great, under-owned stock. Under-ownership? What under-ownership. The FII holding is at multi-year high, mutual funds have not sold much. The only selling has come from LIC and insurance companies which had their own reasons as I wrote in my previous blog.
But, my apologies to LIC – they turned out to be the smartest investors, even if it’s by default. They sold 80 lakh shares at around 2900 Rupees (something which the stock will not hit for at least 2 years)
Nine months back, I turned positive on Infosys. I had a strong feeling that it was coming out of a rut and a patch of outperformance was coming. I was right for last 9 months but today’s event has changed it all. The company has revised the clock backwards by a good 2 years and whatever confidence it built over the last 6 months has been destroyed.
Be under no illusion of stock finding bottom at 2300 or so. For me even if you assume an EPS of Rs 170 for Infosys, you should apply a multiple of 10-11x because this is now just another midcap kind of volatile companies which we have plenty of in this market. The stock doesn’t deserve to trade above 1700-1870 given the circumstances.