Tuesday Losers: CommVault, Amedisys and Infosys

Among the biggest losers in Tuesday’s early trading are CommVault (Nasdaq: CVLT), Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED) and Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY).

Top Percentage Losers — Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Company Name (Ticker) Intra-Day Price Intra-Day
% Loss
52-Week High 52-Week Low
Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED) $26.89 -23.2% $64.28 $24.66
(Nasdaq: CVLT)
$18.43 -21.5% $24.51 $15.60
Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY) $59.66 -5.0% $64.50 $35.38

*Table includes companies with minimum market capitalizations of $200 million and three month trading volumes of at least 100,000 shares. All percentage returns are listed as of 11:45AM Eastern Standard Time. Click on ticker symbols for up-to-the-minute price quotes and percentage gain data.

CommVault’s Dual Sales Problems

CommVault (Nasdaq: CVLT), which sells software to optimize and secure corporate databases, is in freefall today after the company pre-announced weak second quarter results Monday evening. Sales and service revenues were hit by a pair of factors: an unfocused sales force in North America, and delays in closing sales in Europe. The takeaway for other tech stocks is clear: North American demand for technology may prove robust, but those firms with a high degree of exposure to Europe may have reason for concern. Just a few weeks ago, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) told investors that European demand is faring well. For the real answer, we’ll have to await earnings reports from other tech blue chips, starting with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), which reports after the close today.

Action to Take –> The fairly large shortfall for CommVault comes as a surprise, as the company had been delivering very steady quarterly results. Sales force issues take time to resolve, and it may be a few quarters before the company is back on track. CommVault is upgrading its core Simpana software platform, which may have led customers to defer purchases. And the company hints at a new market opportunity to be announced this fall. So even though shares are likely to be dead money this summer, they could perk back up in the fall. In the interim, the company is sitting on $4 a share in cash and could look to initiate a stock buyback while shares are in a funk.


Amedisys’ Summer of Woe continues

For home health care provider Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED), the hits keep on coming. Less than two weeks ago, we laid out the company’s horrid recent past, which saw its shares sharply fall.

#-ad_banner-#And they’re losing another -23% today after the company pre-announced weak second quarter results Monday evening. The company noted that second-quarter earnings per share would be around $1.15 a share, well below the $1.38 consensus. And this shortfall comes before any restrictions might come into play for Amedysis and its peers on the heels of a Senate investigation into home health care billing practices.

Action to Take –> Assuming quarterly profits fall to around $1 a share, this stock is quite cheap at seven times annualized earnings. But it’s premature to buy in until the full ramifications of the Senate and SEC inquiries have become clear. The same logic applies to rivals Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM) and Gentiva Health (Nasdaq: GNTV), which are also down more than -5% in Tuesday trading.


Infosys’ Rising Costs

Depending on your perspective, outsourcing jobs is a really good or bad idea. For workers, it means fewer onshore jobs. For investors, it’s a path to lower costs. Well, that math may need to be recalculated. As is the case with China, labor costs are steadily rising in India as well, according to outsourcing giant Infosys (Nasdaq: INFY). The company, which usually tops profit forecasts by at least +5%, only exceeded the consensus by a penny this time. A +14% year-over-year spike in labor expenses led to higher-than-expected costs. And it may only get worse, as the company has seen massive turnover in its workforce as employees jump ship to better-paying rivals.

This doesn’t spell the end of outsourcing, as labor costs are still relatively low, but when you account for all of the other expenses associated with outsourcing, the cost differential is starting to narrow, which has led many to speculate that many outsourced jobs may soon be insourced.

Action to Take –> Infosys typically generates very high profit margins. Rising wages should start to force margins back down, implying that bottom-line growth rates will lag top-line growth rates. You can already see it starting to happen. Sales are expected to grow +18% in fiscal (March) 2011 while EPS is expected to grow at about half that rate. With shares trading at more than 20 times fiscal 2012 profits, this impressive growth story may have hit a peak in terms of share price appreciation.