India's outsourcer Infosys Q3 profit beats estimates

Indian IT outsourcer Infosys on Friday reported flat profit growth in the three months to December, beating estimates, and gave an improved outlook for annual revenues, which sent its shares soaring.

Consolidated net profit for the Nasdaq-listed firm was at 23.69 billion rupees ($430 million) in the October-to December quarter, against 23.7 billion rupees a year earlier.

Analysts had expected Infosys to post a 21 billion rupee profit.

Infosys shares jumped 12.05 percent to 2,600 rupees in early trade after the firm raised its forecast for full-year revenues in fiscal year to March 2013, to $7.45 billion.

"We have done well in this quarter despite an uncertain environment," said chief executive S.D. Shibulal.

"We continue to gain confidence from a strong pipeline of large deals. However, the broader economic environment remains difficult," Shibulal said in a company statement.

Revenues rose 12 percent to 104.2 billion rupees for the third quarter.

Most of India's IT outsourcing firms say the outlook for the industry remains difficult because of uncertainty in the key US and European markets.

Infosys said it has completed the $350 million acquisition of Zurich-based consulting firm Lodestone, which it had announced in September. The Lodestone deal would add more than 200 clients across industries to Infosys' client base.

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