EPAM’s Arkady Dobkin attempted to sooth buyers fearful Russia would wreck Ukraine and experience Western sanctions

World fuel rates jumped and inventory values fell as Russian forces invaded its neighbor Ukraine on Thursday early morning. But several huge U.S. firms have as a great deal at stake as EPAM Systems Inc., a Newtown, Bucks County-based mostly software package corporation with technological staff throughout the former Soviet Union.

EPAM employs far more than 40,000 around the globe. That incorporates 13,000 in Ukraine, EPAM’s main executive, Arkady Dobkin, explained to investors last 7 days. EPAM has engineers and other gurus based in a dozen Ukrainian cities, together with Kyiv, the cash, and Kharkiv, among the towns bombed by Russian forces.

Shares of EPAM opened down 16% Thursday morning, at $350, as pictures of Russian forces bombing Ukraine airports and metropolitan areas flashed all over the world. But the inventory recovered to some degree by day’s conclusion, closing down 8.6%, or $35.95, to $382.28.

Dobkin started off the corporation in 1993, 4 yrs just after the Berlin Wall fell, and built it into a $1 billion-furthermore (yearly sales) multinational business by selecting engineers in previous Soviet republics to create and update computer software for cut price-hunting Western providers. Dobkin also grew the corporation by a string of acquisitions.

The company’s inventory had soared very last year as EPAM was extra to the S&P 500 index, placing it into the retirement portfolios of millions of U.S. investors. But EPAM has missing virtually half its worth because December on fears of war and likely Western sanctions in opposition to Russia and its ally, Belarus, which on Thursday served as a foundation for assaults on Ukraine.

EPAM also employs neighborhood personnel in quite a few Russian and Belarusan metropolitan areas, in Ukraine’s Western-aligned neighbors Poland and Bulgaria, and in the three Baltic republics, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, U.S allies that border Russian-controlled territory and are seeing Russia’s attack on Ukraine with alarm. Extra than 20 Pennsylvania Nationwide Guard soldiers and airmen are scheduled to be in Lithuania future week to conduct training, mentioned spokesman Capt. Travis Mueller, who is dependent in Fort Indiantown Hole.

Just very last Thursday, Dobkin, who was born in Belarus, had downplayed the affect of what he considered Russia’s most likely steps from Ukraine at his company’s quarterly conference phone with traders.

Requested by analyst Ramsey El-Assal of Barclays investment decision financial institution whether EPAM’s operate would be disrupted by a Russian assault, Dobkin claimed there was reasonably tiny disruption when Russia seized areas of Ukraine along that country’s eastern and southern borders in 2014, and he envisioned a identical end result this time.

He mentioned that EPAM workers now commonly will work at home and isn’t dependent on neighborhood telecom infrastructure. Even if units are wrecked or disrupted, the do the job can resume from other locations.

Some EPAM purchasers had been pretty apprehensive about the prospect of war in Ukraine, but a greater part have been not, Dobkin claimed.

The enterprise has sought to come to be a lot less reliant on Ukraine and its neighbors, particularly in the last yr, Bryan Bergin, a inventory analyst at Cowan Inc., pointed out in the course of the investor conference.

Dobkin reported EPAM has been expanding most speedily in Latin The us and India, but acknowledged that Russia, Ukraine and Belarus however account for a lot more than fifty percent the company’s production.

EPAM has not produced a statement about the Russian assault due to the fact it began. Enterprise officers didn’t return calls looking for remark on Thursday.