Investors Buy Accenture PLC (ACN) on Weakness on Insider Selling

Traders purchased shares of Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday following insider selling activity. $89.95 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $43.92 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $46.03 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Accenture PLC had the 16th highest net in-flow for the day. Accenture PLC traded down ($0.61) for the day and closed at $136.91Specifically, CFO David Rowland sold 3,702 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.04, for a total value of $499,918.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 9,864 shares in the company, valued at $1,332,034.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 38,589 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.03, for a total value of $5,210,672.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 179,083 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,181,577.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 66,310 shares of company stock valued at $8,854,197 over the last quarter. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on ACN. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Accenture PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Accenture PLC from $132.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $148.00 price objective (up from $142.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $141.84.

The firm has a market cap of $84.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.16 and a beta of 1.08. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $134.29 and its 200-day moving average price is $126.43.

Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.48 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.01. Accenture PLC had a net margin of 9.37% and a return on equity of 42.65%. The firm had revenue of $9.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.31 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Accenture PLC will post $6.56 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a Semi-Annual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 19th will be issued a $1.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 18th. This represents a yield of 1.97%. Accenture PLC’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.49%.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ACN. Waldron LP lifted its holdings in Accenture PLC by 93.3% in the 1st quarter. Waldron LP now owns 5,709 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $684,000 after buying an additional 2,756 shares in the last quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Accenture PLC by 212.6% in the 1st quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,445 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $773,000 after buying an additional 4,383 shares in the last quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. lifted its holdings in Accenture PLC by 9.0% in the 1st quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 1,538,352 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $184,418,000 after buying an additional 127,348 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp lifted its holdings in Accenture PLC by 1,986.6% in the 1st quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp now owns 424,153 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $50,847,000 after buying an additional 403,826 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Foundation Advisors lifted its holdings in Accenture PLC by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. First Foundation Advisors now owns 4,683 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $561,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.73% of the company’s stock.

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About Accenture PLC

Accenture plc is a professional services company serving clients in various industries and in geographic regions, including North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The Company provides management and technology consulting services. Its segments include Communications, Media and Technology; Financial Services; Health and Public Service; Products, and Resources.

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