MUMBAI, India — Indian software outsourcing giant Infosys posted slightly higher quarterly profit Friday and maintained its revenue growth forecast despite the weak rupee and uncertainty about U.S. visas for its employees.
Shares in Infosys jumped 12 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the company stuck to its forecast of 6 to 10 percent revenue growth for the fiscal year ending March 2014. Some analysts had predicted Infosys would lower the forecast.
The company said profit for the April-June quarter rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier to $418 million.
It was the first earnings report since Infosys brought back co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy in June as executive chairman. The company's last results disappointed with lower profits and a subdued growth forecast, so Friday's more positive outlook was welcomed by investors.
Infosys is a bellwether for India's $108 billion outsourcing industry, which has been hit by weaker demand from American and European clients.
Ashok Vemuri, head of the Americas division and global head of manufacturing, said he was encouraged that U.S. business was up by 5 percent in the June quarter.
"There is a certain amount of resurgence and rebound, definitely," Vemuri said by telephone. "I think the translation of the sentiment into demand is still some time away, but it is definitely in a better place than it was six to nine months ago."
The industry also is closely watching a provision in the U.S. immigration reform bill that would limit the number of special visas for IT workers, potentially hindering the U.S. operations of Indian outsourcers.
The bill is now stuck in the House of Representatives, but Vemuri said Infosys was preparing strategies to cope if it does pass with the visa language unchanged.
"Obviously we have to be prepared. But is it impacting our business in the short-term? No."
The weakening Indian rupee – which has lost 12 percent of its value since May 1 – weighed down the company's dollar profits. In local currency terms, Infosys had net profit of 23.7 billion rupees for the June quarter, up 3.7 percent and beating the forecast of 2.1 percent growth in a survey of analysts by FactSet.
"Despite facing an uncertain macro environment, changing regulatory regime and a volatile currency environment, we have done well," CEO S.D. Shibulal said in a statement. He said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the rest of the year.