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UPDATE 1-Cognizant's profit beats estimates as Europe revenue rises

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May 7 (Reuters) - Technology outsourcing company Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp reported a better-than-expected profit for the first quarter as customers in Europe raised their IT spending.

Quarterly revenue from Europe rose 35 percent, the strongest growth since the company started breaking out revenue by region two years ago.

The Teaneck, New Jersey-based company's revenue from the region grew 22.7 percent in the year-earlier quarter.

Europe contributed $470.1 million, or 19.4 percent, to total revenue in the quarter ended March 31.

Revenue growth in North America, Cognizant's biggest market, slowed slightly to 16.1 percent, to $1.84 billion, after rising 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

India-based rivals Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd also reported better-than-expected profit for the quarter ended March.

Cognizant's net income rose to $348.9 million, or 57 cents per share, in the first quarter from $284.2 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose about 20 percent to $2.42 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 55 cents per share on revenue of $2.43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cognizant forecast revenue of $2.50 billion to $2.53 billion for the current quarter, slightly below the average analyst estimate of $2.54 billion.

The company said it continued to expect revenue to grow by at least 16.5 percent to $10.3 billion this year. Cognizant forecast full-year adjusted earnings of at least $2.54 per share.

The company's shares rose slightly to $49.54 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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