Accenture (ACN) Hits New 52-Week High After Earnings Beat

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $155.33 and last traded at $151.75, with a volume of 3206100 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $152.22.

The information technology services provider reported $1.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.12. Accenture had a return on equity of 42.65% and a net margin of 9.37%. The firm had revenue of $9.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.25 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.58 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 11.8% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $164.00 target price on shares of Accenture in a research note on Thursday. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 target price on shares of Accenture in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Deutsche Bank upped their price target on Accenture to $165.00 in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $155.00 price target on shares of Accenture in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Accenture from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Accenture presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $147.90.

In other Accenture news, insider Gianfranco Casati sold 20,380 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.72, for a total value of $2,908,633.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 51,014 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,280,718.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 38,589 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 179,083 shares in the company, valued at $24,181,577.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 83,325 shares of company stock worth $11,479,125 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 2.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 48,468,073 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $5,994,531,000 after purchasing an additional 1,088,676 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 3.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 40,659,545 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $5,028,772,000 after purchasing an additional 1,196,578 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 2.2% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 28,501,643 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $3,525,083,000 after purchasing an additional 605,156 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 0.8% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 9,476,570 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,172,063,000 after purchasing an additional 70,740 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Independent Franchise Partners LLP lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 3.7% during the third quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 6,293,362 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $850,044,000 after purchasing an additional 222,828 shares in the last quarter. 72.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The stock has a market capitalization of $100,458.81, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.76, a PEG ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 1.08.

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Accenture Company Profile

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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