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Wipro second-quarter profit beats estimates

Employees walk in the Wipro campus in Bangalore June 23, 2009. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe/Files

By Tanvi Mehta and Jessica Kuruthukulangara

REUTERS - India's third-largest software services exporter Wipro Ltd posted a better than expected second-quarter profit on Tuesday, adding that it would match industry growth rates by the fourth quarter.

The IT firm, headquartered in the south Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, said it expects a sequential improvement in its growth trajectory in the third quarter.

"In the last three quarters, our guidance has been continuously moving upwards. With that trajectory, we believe in Q4, we will be able to deliver industry-matching growth," Chief Executive Abidali Z. Neemuchwala said in the press conference.

Some analysts doubted of the year-end forecast. "Wipro is quite far off from that sort of a trajectory. It's quite likely that it will continue to trail its larger peers and will fall short of the industry growth rate," said Apurva Prasad, analyst at HDFC Securities.

The company said it expected revenue from the IT services business to be in the range of $2.01 billion - $2.05 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

The forecast range is wide and gives no clear indication of any possible traction, Emkay Global Financial Services analysts said in a note.

Second-quarter quarter profit rose 6 percent to 21.92 billion rupees ($337.13 million), beating analysts' estimate of 20.80 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Revenue from core IT services rose to 131.69 billion rupees from 131.37 billion rupees, slightly above its earlier forecast. Revenue from its biggest business - banking, financial services and insurance - rose 8.2 percent.

India's largest IT services firm, Tata Consultancy Services, reported a 2 percent decline in second-quarter profit last week, held back by sluggish growth in banking and retail services.

($1 = 65.0200 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King and Louise Heavens)