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Cognizant Technology offers gloomy outlook

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. offered a downbeat view on earnings and revenue for the current quarter, as the information-technology provider on Friday reported that its profit climbed 15% in the latest period.

Cognizant expects earnings in the second quarter of 80 cents to 82 cents a share on revenue of $3.34 billion to $3.4 billion. Analysts, on average, anticipated earnings of 84 cents on $3.41 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

Following the Affordable Care Act, Cognizant has seen its health-care business grow, helped in part by its acquisition of health-care information-technology service provider Trizetto Corp. in late 2014.

Revenue from its health-care segment rose 4% in the quarter. Revenue from its financial services segment -- its largest top-line contributor -- increased nearly 11% from a year ago.

Over all, Cognizant reported a profit of $441.2 million, or 72 cents a share, up from $382.9 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, earnings rose to 80 cents from 71 cents a share.

Revenue rose 10% to $3.2 billion.

In February, the company forecast adjusted earnings for the first quarter between 78 cents and 80 cents on revenue between $3.18 billion and $3.24 billion.

For the full year, the company Friday lowered the high end of its guidance range, and is now expecting between $13.65 billion and $14 billion, compared with a prior range of $13.65 billion to $14.20 billion. The company backed its earnings outlook of between $3.32 and $3.44 a share.

Analysts had projected earnings of $3.39 a share on revenue of $13.9 billion.

Shares of Cognizant, which have fallen 5% over the past 12 months, slipped 1% to $57 in light premarket trading.

Do you have any ideas about target price for a long-term period?