Accenture (ACN) Downgraded by Bank of America to Neutral

Bank of America cut shares of Accenture (NYSE:ACN) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report report published on Friday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Accenture from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, March 22nd. Citigroup upgraded shares of Accenture from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the company from $161.00 to $169.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Berenberg Bank restated a buy rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of Accenture in a report on Monday, April 1st. UBS Group set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Accenture and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, March 28th. Finally, SunTrust Banks increased their price objective on shares of Accenture to $180.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Accenture presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $183.58.

Shares of ACN stock opened at $176.26 on Friday. Accenture has a 1 year low of $132.63 and a 1 year high of $183.35. The company has a market cap of $118.92 billion, a PE ratio of 26.15, a P/E/G ratio of 2.34 and a beta of 1.12.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.16. Accenture had a net margin of 10.52% and a return on equity of 38.57%. The business had revenue of $10.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.30 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.58 earnings per share. Accenture’s revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that Accenture will post 7.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, April 11th will be issued a $1.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 10th. This represents a yield of 1.66%. Accenture’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.32%.

In other news, insider Richard Lumb sold 18,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.19, for a total transaction of $3,261,420.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 95,215 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,252,005.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Richard P. Clark sold 6,266 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $177.78, for a total transaction of $1,113,969.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 49,919 shares of company stock worth $8,896,852. Company insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ACN. Wendell David Associates Inc. grew its position in Accenture by 0.9% in the first quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. now owns 37,354 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $6,575,000 after purchasing an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC grew its position in Accenture by 13.3% in the fourth quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 14,162 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,997,000 after purchasing an additional 1,661 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Accenture in the fourth quarter valued at $1,108,000. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. grew its position in Accenture by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 6,699 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $945,000 after purchasing an additional 864 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gillespie Robinson & Grimm Inc. grew its position in Accenture by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Gillespie Robinson & Grimm Inc. now owns 169,216 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $23,861,000 after purchasing an additional 4,203 shares in the last quarter. 70.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Accenture

Accenture plc provides consulting, technology, and outsourcing services in Ireland and internationally. Its Communications, Media & Technology segment provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation, develop industry-specific solutions, and enhance efficiencies and business results for communications, media, high tech, software, and platform companies.

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