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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (8061) 

Wedgewood Partners David Rolfe Comments on Cognizant

July 19, 2013 | About:

Cognizant (NASDAQ:CTSH) is caught in the nation's political crosshairs. In the midst of the earnest debate on immigration reform, where by such heady matters as amnesty and border security dominate the discussion, investor s' fears have been stoked by a seemingly unremarked element of th e Senate's version of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. Very specific language was included in the Senate draft that would, at worst, restrict businesses from broadly relying on highly skilled employees with temporary visas ("outplacement") and in less severe cases, drive up the cost of employing such workers. While this legislative attempt strikes close to the heart of Cognizant's value proposition, we believe that the most punitive provision of this proposed legislation (outplacement) has a low probability of becoming law.

Consider that similar legislation (from the same congressmen) was proposed in 2009 but did not get out of committee. The difference in 2013 is that the legislative climate in the Senate is slightly more favorable, so a comprehensive bill including the outplacement provision made it through the upper house. However, the House of Representatives do not have many (if any) advocates for this specific provision. In addition, the large majority of Fortune 500 businesses currently utilize the services that would be prohibited by the outplacement provision, so broad economic disruption is a possible outcome of any law that contained this provision. In other words, we think it is unlikely that any new advocates will emerge to require that outplacement be included in the lower house bill. Ultimately, both chambers must agree to final language, but given the sparse support for the outplacement proposal, we believe it will not be included in any final law.

In our view, the stock's sharp 20% drop has priced in some onerous assumptions about future revenue growth and margins. Thus, we believe that Cognizant represents an exceptional risk reward proposition regardless of legislative outcome s. As such, we added to our existing position in the shares.

From Wedgewood Partners second quarter 2013 investor letter.

Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote)


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