On Friday, A former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan said that the company’s decision to repay RS 13,000 crore to its shareholders is “too low” and naming a Co-Chairman would make the entire structure much more complicated at a board level.
In a telephonic interview with PTI, former CFO V Balakrishnan said that “I believe that it’s a nice step forward, but the portion could have been higher because they have a Rs 40,000 crore on their balance sheet.”
“In the course of the business, the return of 70% of free cash flow is almost the same as what Infosys have today – which is just 50% of its net profit,” Balakrishnan said.
Infosys has today announced a plans to repay Rs 13,000 crore of its cash pile to shareholders after it reported a nearly flat net profit in the March quarter and the outlook for a sales left short of estimates.
Bengaluru based HQ, the company also stated that it will start paying 70% of its annual free cash flow in the form of dividends, as compared with the previous policy of distribution to half of the profit after taxes.
“I probably believe that the benchmark for IT service companies should be a Accenture. Accenture returned a substantial part of existing cash and also, if I guess right, they returned around 90% of the free cash flow to its shareholders every year. So, progressively Infosys should move towards this. Which is a good benchmark.” V Balakrishnan added.
On appointment of Ravi Venkatesan as co-chairman of Infosys, he said that there is nothing essential in this, because right now company has a chairman, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, co-COO, financial director and deputy financial direct.
“And I believe it’s too high and have not articulated why this change is needed right now and what value it will add. I do not want to read too much into it. I think it’s making the structure much more complex at the board level, and that has its own repercussions.”
He said the financial results declared by the company today is disappointing. “All year (2016-17), they have not reached a number in any of the quarters, and orientation is also dumb. I think the performance is too difficult.”
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