Rising demand for global outsourcing services pushed shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. up 55 percent in 2006, making the company one of the top five tech performers in the S&P 500 this year.
Cognizant provides offshore information technology and other business services, with centers in China, India and other locations worldwide.
Shares jumped in May after the company reported a 48 percent increase in profit, helped by higher demand for technology services across all industries. Customers in the media, telecom, financial services and health care industries contributed to the stronger-than-expected results.
Cognizant also issued full-year earnings guidance that beat Wall Street's expectations, then raised its outlook when reporting another blockbuster quarter in August.
The stock was selected in November to join the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
Also in November, the company said it would spend more than $200 million through 2008 to expand its India operations, adding new facilities in five cities _ Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune _ and hiring more than 30,000 employees.
Shares of Cognizant traded at their lowest point on Jan. 18, touching $48.51 on the Nasdaq. The stock climbed as high as $82.49 on Dec. 12, before closing at $77.87 on Thursday, a full-year gain of $27.60, or 55 percent.