Accenture Plc (ACN) Receives Outperform Rating from Evercore ISI

Evercore ISI restated their outperform rating on shares of Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) in a research note issued to investors on Saturday.

ACN has been the topic of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $127.00 price target (down from $131.00) on shares of Accenture Plc in a research note on Friday, December 23rd. Barclays PLC cut their price objective on Accenture Plc from $128.00 to $124.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, December 22nd. Vetr upgraded Accenture Plc from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $130.68 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, January 9th. William Blair restated an outperform rating on shares of Accenture Plc in a report on Monday, January 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Accenture Plc from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Accenture Plc presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $128.08.

Shares of Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) traded up 0.02% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $119.23. 2,639,048 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Accenture Plc has a 52 week low of $108.66 and a 52 week high of $126.53. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $120.75 and its 200-day moving average is $118.84. The company has a market capitalization of $73.93 billion, a PE ratio of 19.86 and a beta of 1.17.

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 23rd. The information technology services provider reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.03. Accenture Plc had a return on equity of 46.99% and a net margin of 12.34%. The firm had revenue of $8.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.34 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.34 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Accenture Plc will post $5.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, April 13th will be issued a dividend of $1.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 11th. This is an increase from Accenture Plc’s previous semiannual dividend of $1.02. This represents a yield of 2.03%. Accenture Plc’s payout ratio is currently 35.85%.

In other news, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 39,499 shares of Accenture Plc stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.75, for a total value of $4,769,504.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 258,306 shares in the company, valued at approximately $31,190,449.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 4,400 shares of Accenture Plc stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $528,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 124,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,937,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 78,204 shares of company stock worth $9,388,743 over the last 90 days. 0.21% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ACN. Ariel Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in Accenture Plc by 7.4% in the third quarter. Ariel Capital Advisors LLC now owns 14,459 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $1,766,000 after buying an additional 996 shares in the last quarter. Martin Investment Management LLC raised its position in Accenture Plc by 4.1% in the third quarter. Martin Investment Management LLC now owns 200,547 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $24,501,000 after buying an additional 7,860 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in Accenture Plc by 7.5% in the third quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 371,587 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $45,397,000 after buying an additional 25,848 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP raised its position in Accenture Plc by 8,927.3% in the third quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 403,339 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $49,276,000 after buying an additional 398,871 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DIAM Co. Ltd. raised its position in Accenture Plc by 1.0% in the third quarter. DIAM Co. Ltd. now owns 65,924 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $8,023,000 after buying an additional 683 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.38% of the company’s stock.

About Accenture Plc

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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