Founded in New Jersey by two Belarusians thirty-one years ago, EPAM had built a reputation for excellence in its highly competitive sector thanks to the quality of its offshoring in Eastern Europe.

It recruited excellent engineers at unbeatable rates. However, its meteoric growth - which by the end of 2018 had earned it a place in MarketScreener's USA portfolio - came to a sudden halt with the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

EPAM has since been executing a fast-paced pivot to India, even though it maintains capacity in Eastern Europe - notably Ukraine. Last year, the company also moved hundreds of employees based in Russia and Belarus to Uzbekistan.

The fact remains, however, that the focus is on saving the furniture rather than returning to growth. In 2023, EPAM posted declining sales for the first time in its history. The year 2024 is off to a similar start, with sales down 3.8% in the first quarter, and an operating margin at its lowest level for fifteen years.

Like Norway's Bouvet -  EPAM is another fallen glory in the IT consulting sector. It's notable, moreover, that the valuations of both have converged towards similar multiples of x13-x14 operating profit before depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA.

In this respect, both companies have fallen out of favor with investors who were once only interested in their spectacular growth and margins; their shares are now trading at multiples in line with the average for their sector.