Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) Shares Sold by Appleton Partners Inc. MA

Appleton Partners Inc. MA reduced its position in Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 26,270 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock after selling 139 shares during the quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA’s holdings in Accenture were worth $8,404,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Accenture by 0.6% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 25,327,745 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $7,466,412,000 after purchasing an additional 157,577 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Accenture by 9.1% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,279,859 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $3,619,980,000 after acquiring an additional 1,020,098 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Accenture by 3.3% during the second quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,181,463 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,992,899,000 after purchasing an additional 323,633 shares in the last quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Accenture by 3.8% during the second quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 8,238,617 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,428,662,000 after purchasing an additional 303,763 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Accenture by 1.3% in the second quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 4,357,048 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,284,413,000 after acquiring an additional 55,738 shares in the last quarter. 73.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of ACN traded up $1.67 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $362.37. 2,191,459 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,931,097. Accenture plc has a 52 week low of $241.73 and a 52 week high of $374.92. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $347.66 and its 200-day simple moving average is $321.90. The firm has a market cap of $229.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 1.13.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, September 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $2.20 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.19 by $0.01. Accenture had a net margin of 11.69% and a return on equity of 29.50%. The company had revenue of $13.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.42 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.70 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that Accenture plc will post 10.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, October 14th were issued a dividend of $0.97 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, October 13th. This is a boost from Accenture’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.88. This represents a $3.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.07%. Accenture’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.40%.

Accenture announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, September 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the information technology services provider to purchase up to 1.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Moffett Nathanson upgraded Accenture from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $338.06 to $405.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research raised Accenture from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $374.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 27th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their price target on Accenture from $310.00 to $395.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 16th. Argus raised their target price on Accenture from $330.00 to $400.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 24th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on Accenture from $324.00 to $379.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 10th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Accenture has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $356.59.

In related news, insider Jean-Marc Ollagnier sold 581 shares of Accenture stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $334.78, for a total value of $194,507.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, General Counsel Joel Unruch sold 1,328 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $340.79, for a total transaction of $452,569.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 27,219 shares of company stock worth $9,512,564 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

About Accenture

Accenture Plc engages in the provision of management consulting, technology, and outsourcing services. It operates through the following geographical segments: North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Accenture (NYSE:ACN)

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