I pulled this chart together on our very own research platform just to see if there were any signs in the operating margins that Satyam was managing earnings. I found none.
The comparables to Satyam (SAY) are Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant. Satyam’s range of the operating margins is just fine. The seasonality caused by the annual influx of trainees through campus hiring is also there. I couldn’t figure out why the dip was a quarter later than Infosys but there is probably a rational reason for that.
Also present is the uptick in margins in the last couple of quarters, which is presumably because of the favourable movement in exchange rates.
Managed earnings should leave some fingerprints. I couldn’t find any. So either Raju and co were very, very careful with how they were managing the earnings. Or, they weren’t managing earnings at all and the money has actually gone missing.