Accenture (ACN) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Accenture (NYSE:ACN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $176.00 price objective on the information technology services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst. Further, the company has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite. Accenture’s strong operating cash flow has helped it to return cash through regular quarterly dividend payment and share repurchases. Through multiple partnerships, Accenture have expanded its footprint into newer markets. In fact, the stock has outperformed its industry in the past year. However, Accenture’s market share and revenues dependence on client relationships and the number of contracts it secures remains a concern. Further, foreign currency exchange rate risks and integration risks continue to hurt the company’s prospects.”

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on ACN. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Accenture from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $159.00 to $140.00 in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Pivotal Research set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Accenture and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 20th. KeyCorp raised their price objective on shares of Accenture from $172.00 to $181.00 and gave the company a positive rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Wedbush restated an outperform rating and set a $180.00 price objective (up previously from $165.00) on shares of Accenture in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on shares of Accenture from $162.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Accenture currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $161.37.

Accenture opened at $155.33 on Tuesday, according to MarketBeat. Accenture has a 1 year low of $119.10 and a 1 year high of $165.58. The company has a market capitalization of $98.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.28, a PEG ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 1.03.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $1.58 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $9.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.31 billion. Accenture had a net margin of 9.18% and a return on equity of 41.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 15.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.33 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Accenture will post 6.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Johan Deblaere sold 5,000 shares of Accenture stock in a transaction on Monday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.72, for a total value of $753,600.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 73,638 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,098,719.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,000 shares of Accenture stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.10, for a total transaction of $312,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 120,025 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,735,902.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 53,828 shares of company stock worth $8,145,630. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ACN. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Accenture by 7.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 42,348,766 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $6,500,537,000 after acquiring an additional 2,861,472 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in Accenture by 54.1% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 6,977,987 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $1,068,260,000 after acquiring an additional 2,450,772 shares during the last quarter. WCM Investment Management CA grew its holdings in Accenture by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. WCM Investment Management CA now owns 5,503,799 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $844,833,000 after acquiring an additional 223,617 shares during the last quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Accenture by 14,894.9% in the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 5,129,307 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $5,129,000 after acquiring an additional 5,095,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Polen Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Accenture by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 5,048,799 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $774,991,000 after acquiring an additional 108,730 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.99% of the company’s stock.

Accenture Company Profile

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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