Weekly Analysts’ Ratings Updates for Accenture (ACN)

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) recently received a number of ratings updates from brokerages and research firms:

  • 9/26/2018 – Accenture was given a new $180.00 price target on by analysts at UBS Group AG. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 9/25/2018 – Accenture was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst which are expected to contribute significantly to the company's revenue stream. Accenture has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through acquisitions and partnerships. The company’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. Despite such tailwinds, shares of Accenture have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.  The company faces competition from strong companies like Genpact Limited, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Infosys. Buyout-related integration risks can impact the company’s organic growth. Global presence exposes Accenture to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. “
  • 9/24/2018 – Accenture had its price target raised by analysts at Bank of America Corp from $174.00 to $175.00. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock.
  • 9/20/2018 – Accenture had its price target raised by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from $170.00 to $180.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 9/18/2018 – Accenture had its price target raised by analysts at Citigroup Inc from $163.00 to $172.00. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock.
  • 9/17/2018 – Accenture was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst. The company has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through acquisitions and partnerships. Accenture’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders. Moreover, the company has been trying to strengthen its position as a leading provider of Salesforce capabilities. Despite such positives, shares of Accenture have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.  The company faces competition from strong companies like Genpact Limited, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Infosys. Buyout-related integration risks can impact the company’s organic growth. Global presence exposes Accenture to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.”
  • 9/5/2018 – Accenture was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Accenture have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year. The company faces competition from strong companies like Genpact Limited, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Infosys. Competition is particularly tough in the case of resurgent regions like Europe, since all the major players are fighting for business. This naturally increases pricing pressure. Buyout-related integration risks can impact the company’s organic growth. Global presence exposes the company to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Despite such headwinds, Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. It has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst. Accenture’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders.”

Shares of Accenture stock traded down $1.79 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $171.18. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 94,551 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,911,562. Accenture Plc has a one year low of $132.27 and a one year high of $175.64. The company has a market cap of $116.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.96, a PEG ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 0.97.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 27th. The information technology services provider reported $1.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.02. Accenture had a net margin of 9.76% and a return on equity of 42.01%. The company had revenue of $10.15 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.01 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.48 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Accenture Plc will post 6.71 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 32,376 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.39, for a total value of $5,257,538.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.86, for a total transaction of $321,720.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 117,807 shares in the company, valued at $18,950,434.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 54,357 shares of company stock worth $8,865,112. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI increased its stake in Accenture by 17.0% during the 2nd quarter. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI now owns 134,458 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $21,996,000 after buying an additional 19,496 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Accenture by 13.6% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,887,804 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $636,010,000 after buying an additional 466,745 shares during the period. HM Payson & Co. increased its stake in Accenture by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. HM Payson & Co. now owns 235,334 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $38,498,000 after buying an additional 5,679 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its stake in Accenture by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 52,871 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $8,644,000 after buying an additional 2,364 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Advocates Investment Management acquired a new position in Accenture during the 1st quarter valued at about $357,000. Institutional investors own 70.18% of the company’s stock.

Accenture plc provides consulting, technology, and outsourcing services worldwide. Its Communications, Media & Technology segment provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation, and enhance business results through industry-specific solutions for communications, media, and high tech industries, as well as for software platforms.

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