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Telepeformance: calm returns, but confidence is fragile

( - After yesterday's sharp decline, Teleperformance shares rose slightly on Thursday, a timid rebound insufficient to reflect a genuine revival in market confidence.

At around 2:30 pm, the contact center outsourcing specialist's share price recovered 0.6%, after falling 14% in yesterday's high-volume trading, having lost almost 29% at the day's low.

The stock was penalized by the announcement by Klarna, a Swedish fintech specializing in staggered payments, of the success of an AI project conducted in the field of customer relations (chat).

According to Klarna, this OpenAI-powered application has enabled the work of 700 advisors to be carried out in a single month, leading it to anticipate a cost reduction of $40 million by 2024.

From an investor's point of view, this announcement suggests that principals may be tempted to make less and less use of customer relations outsourcing service providers such as Telepeferformance.

For the analysts in charge of tracking value, however, these fears are largely exaggerated.

We don't believe that this example betrays a deep-seated trend at work within the sector", say the teams at Stifel, who maintain their buy recommendation on the stock.

"This could be a movement specific to certain tech players seeking to optimize their costs in the face of slowing growth and rising interest rates", explains the research department.

HSBC points out that the emergence of new technologies is often synonymous with increased complexity for customers, who could be reassured by Telepeformance's approach combining artificial intelligence and human skills.

"We remain optimistic and see Teleperformance becoming an AI-powered solutions provider", he insists, acknowledging that AI could penalize its sales, but also bolster margins.

As the share price moves back onto the historical lows reached in 2012 and again in October 2023, the publication, on March 6, of the 2023 annual results and strategic update will take on added importance for the company.

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