Why iGATE Corporation Shares Popped Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of iGATE Corporation (NASDAQ: IGTE  ) jumped more than 16% Thursday after the company announced encouraging first-quarter financial results.

So what: Quarterly revenue increased 10% year over year, to $302.2 million, which translated to a 12% decrease in adjusted net income per share, to $0.45. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings on the same basis of $0.41 per share on sales of $300.82 million.

Now what: iGATE doesn't provide formal guidance, but management did elaborate on the subsequent conference call that they expect to see "modest sequential revenue growth" in the second quarter. What's more, iGATE expects its momentum to further accelerate in the second half of this year. In addition, thanks to the refinancing of $325 million in debt at 4.75% -- a notable decrease from the previous 9% rate -- iGATE is looking forward to reduced interest expenses beginning in May. For that, investors can thank credit rating upgrades from both S&P and Moody's.

While I'm not particularly anxious to buy shares myself, the stock does look reasonably priced trading around 15.8 times next year's expected earnings and roughly 1.7 times sales. Given iGATE's improving balance sheet and traction going into the remainder of the year, I think it appears to be on the right track toward continuing to reward patient long-term shareholders.

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