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Capgemini Rises after its Raises Dividend

Shares of IT services company Capgemini rose 8.2 percent Thursday after it announced it was raising its dividend by 43 percent.

The French consulting company, whose shares have been down 25 percent on the year, also reported 2007 earnings which beat analysts' expectations.

In addition, Capgemini kept its goal for an operating margin of 8.5 percent in 2008.

CapGemini said the crisis in the banking sector had not had any repercussions for its business and that it should achieve like-for-like sales growth at the top end of its 2 to 5 percent forecast range if market conditions remain the same.

Capgemini posted a 2007 operating profit of 640 million euros, beating expectations.

Capgemini shares led the gainers on the CAC-40 index of French blue chips.

Revenue rose 13 percent to 8.70 billion euros, driven by last year's acquisition of Kanbay. Like-for-like revenue growth reached 9 percent, in line with the group's target.

Nineteen analysts polled by Reuters Estimates had on average expected Capgemini to post an operating profit of 619.8 million euros, or a margin of 7.09 percent of sales of 8.75 billion.

Capgemini said it was "not inconceivable" that the difficulties of the banking sector would end up spreading to the whole economy and affect some of its Capgemini's sectors.

"We have to be cautious, but to be extremely honest, we don't see (any subprime worries) in our figures today," Nicolas Dufourcq, CFO of Capgemini told CNBC.

"In January … we have examined a number of proposals to our customers, which has never been as high as what it was. It was high in number of deals and high in number of amounts, which means momentum in America remains, honestly, very good to date."

If such a scenario happened, Capgemini said it would accelerate measures planned under its transformation plan.

- Reuters contributed to this report