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Tata Consultancy expands deal with M&G Prudential to $1.4 billion

Software exporter has witnessed a surge in outsourcing orders over past six months

Analysts say TCS is well-positioned to benefit from a likely increase in information technology budgets of clients and long-standing relationships with customers.   © AP

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Tata Consultancy Services' expanded outsourcing partnership with the U.K. financial services firm M&G Prudential to around $1.4 billion gives a shot in the arm to India's largest software exporter rebounding from a prolonged slowdown.

In January, the company had signed a $690 million deal with M&G Prudential, the U.K. and European savings and investments business of Prudential, to manage its more than 4 million life and pensions contracts for a 10-year period.

On Tuesday, TCS said the agreement has now been expanded to cover an additional 1.8 million customer policies. This will bring the total number of policies covered by the partnership to 5.8 million, worth an additional 500 million pounds ($668 million) over the term of the contract, the company said in a statement.

The additional business is a further boost for revenue growth as the software exporter has witnessed a surge in outsourcing orders worth billions of dollars over the past six months.

In January, TCS said it won a multi-year, $2 billion contract from American insurer Transamerica to manage its life and annuities business. In December, it won a record $2.3 billion contract from television rating measurement firm AC Nielsen.

Buoyed by the spate of contracts, TCS had in April forecast a double-digit revenue growth for this fiscal year. Last year, the company's sales grew 8.6%.

TCS' outlook has brightened while several competitors struggled to reinvent themselves in the backdrop of a shift to new internet-based technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing. A hostile work permit conditions in developed western markets added to their woes. Smaller rival Infosys has given a conservative forecast of up to 6.5% growth for this year.

Analysts say TCS is well-positioned to benefit from a likely increase in information technology budgets of clients and long-standing relationships with customers.

"Adoption of digital technologies is becoming broader and deeper. We have also seen vendors invest in platforms to drive" growth, Morgan Stanley said in a report earlier this week. "On both counts, we believe TCS is gaining traction, as evidenced by some of the large multibillion dollar platform deals and digital-only deals it has won in the last six months." TCS is expected to report one of the strongest growth rates among top global and Indian software exporters, with revenue and earnings increases of 10% and 14%, respectively, over the next two years, Morgan Stanley said.

TCS' strong outlook and surge in outsourcing orders also enhanced investor optimism in the company's prospects. In April, TCS became the first Indian information technology company to vault past the $100 billion market value.

Its shares have risen 33% since the beginning of this year. They touched a record high of 1,840 rupees earlier on Thursday, before paring those gains to close down 1.8% in Mumbai trading.

The company, which is sitting on 477 billion rupees ($7.1 billion) of cash, earlier this week announced a plan to return a part of it to investors. TCS' board is considering a buyback of shares at a meeting on Friday ahead of the company's annual general meeting. Last year, it announced a buyback worth 160 billion rupees.

Motilal Oswal expects TCS' latest buyback to be in the range of 200 billion rupees, with a premium to current market price at 2,000 a share.

--Dhanya Ann Thoppil

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