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Accenture (NYSE:ACN) posts its Q4 results in tonight's after-hours. It remains a strong post-earnings gainer for longs to watch.

ACN has seen positive post-bell earnings-driven trade in 23 of the 32 quarters we've tracked here at MidnightTrader, and in 18 of those upside evening moves, or 78% of the time, the stock has followed that trade with a more aggressive positive run in the next day's regular session. Put simply, if shares advance tonight we'd be considering an aggressive long heading into Friday.

Over on the other side, shorts don't get much of a look at ACN. In fact, the stock still holds out prospects for longs on a downside move.

ACN has only declined nine times in the after-hours following an earnings event. Within these nine downside moves, four times the stock has posted a wider move into the red in next-day regular session trade, and in the other five trades the negative evening move has reversed the following day. With this as a data backdrop, longs should be watching for where potential floor levels develop in tonight's trade.

ACN is due with its Q4 results after the bell, and analysts polled by Capital IQ expect the company to report a profit of $0.88 per share on revenue of $6.75 billion.

Here's the history:

  • On June 28, 2012, ACN advanced 3.1% in after-hours trade after topping quarterly expectations. The stock firmed higher the next day, closing the June 29 regular session up 6.1%.
  • On March 22, 2012, ACN gained 1.4% in evening trade after beating Q2 estimates and raising its outlook. The stock added modestly to its gains the next day, closing the March 23 regular session up 2.1%.
  • On December 15, 2011, ACN declined 2% in evening trade despite beating Q1 estimates. The stock recorded additional declines the next day, closing the December 16 regular session off 3.5%.
  • On Sept. 27, 2011, ACN advanced 4% in night trade after reporting better-than-expected results and guidance. The stock lost the bulk of its gains the next day, closing the Sept. 28 regular session up 0.2%.
  • On June 23, 2011, the stock rose 2.1% after a Q3 earnings beat. Shares rose a nearly identical but slightly firmer 2.4% during regular trading the next day.
  • On March 24, 2011, ACN advanced 5.2% in night trade on the back of a Q2 beat and guidance mostly above the Street view. The shares saw some of the evening upside scale back in the following day's regular session, ending up 4.5% on March 25.
  • On December 16, 2010, ACN gained 2% in after-hours trade after topping Q1 estimates and raising its FY EPS view above Street expectations. The stock leaped higher the following day, closing the December 17 regular session up 7.8%.
  • On Sept. 30, 2010, ACN gained 3.4% in evening trade after reporting better-than-expected results and guidance. The stock added to its upside the next day, closing the October 1 regular session up 4.4%.
  • On June 24, 2010, ACN advanced 1.8% in after-hours action after topping Q3 estimates and setting its Q4 revenue guidance in line to lower than the Street view. The stock added to its upside the next day, gaining 7.9% by the June 25 regular session close.
  • On March 25, 2010, ACN slipped 1.5% in after-hours action after reporting mostly in-line results and guidance. The stock reversed direction the following day, closing up 2.1%.
  • On December 17, 2009, ACN declined 2.4% in after-hours trade after the company posted disappointing revenue results and guidance. The stock cut its downside the following day, ending the December 18 regular session off 0.7%.
  • On October 1, 2009, ACN declined 1.8% in after-hours trade after meeting Q4 expectations and issuing guidance that was mostly below Street estimates. The stock reversed course the following day, and ACN ended the October 2 regular session up 2.6%.
  • On June 25, 2009, ACN advanced 4.3% in evening trade after beating earnings expectations and issuing mixed guidance. The stock added to its gains the following day, ending the June 26 regular session up 6.5%.
  • On March 26, 2009, ACN declined 9.4% in after-hours trade after the company missed Q2 revenue expectations and revised its guidance lower. The stock added to its downside the next day, closing the March 27 regular session down 13.4%.
  • On December 18, 2008, ACN advanced 2% in after-hours trade after the company beat Q1 expectations and set lower guidance. The stock charged higher the following day, rising 6% by the December 19 closing bell.
  • On Sept. 25, 2008, ACN advanced 1.5% in evening trade after beating earnings expectations and setting its guidance in-line to above the Street view. The stock jumped higher in the Sept. 26 regular session, closing with a 6.4% gain.
  • On June 26, 2008, ACN gained 1.9% in evening trade after beating expectations and guiding above the Street view. The stock surged higher the next day, rising 6.4% by the regular session close on June 27.
  • On March 27, 2008, ACN advanced 4.6% in after-hours trade after the company topped Q2 estimates and set guidance above the Street view. Its gain evaporated the next day as ACN closed the March 28 regular session down 0.3%.
  • On December 19, 2007, the stock gained 4.2% during evening trading after ACN reported above the Street with earnings and guidance. The gain improved to 6.5% the next day.
  • On Sept. 27, 2007, ACN gained 1.3% in the evening session after the company tops with Q4 results and guides for Q1 revs to beat. The gain picked up to 5.8% by the close of regular trading.
  • On June 28, 2007, ACN advanced 1.5% in after-hours trade after the company reported better-than-expected Q3 revenue and raised its forward earnings guidance. It lost the bulk of that gain in the June 29 regular session, ending the day up a mere 0.1%.
  • On March 27, 2007, ACN advanced 2.1% in night trade after the company beat with Q2 results and raised its outlook. It continued its run higher the next day, gaining 3.7% by the March 28 regular session close.
  • On December 20, 2006, ACN advanced 2.6% in after-hours trade after the company topped Q1 expectations and set guidance above the Street view. The stock added to its gains in the December 21 regular session, rising 4.5% by the close.
  • On Sept. 28, 2006, ACN stumbled 2% in after-hours trade after the company beat Q4 expectations but also set guidance that could miss the analyst view. The downside was cut back on Sept. 29, with ACN ultimately squeaking into the green with a 0.3% rise by the regular session closing bell.
  • On June 29, 2006, ACN rose 3.5% in after-hours trade when the company topped Q3 earnings estimates. The shares lost some steam though and closed the next day?s regular session up only 0.7%.
  • On March 28, 2006, shares fell 6.6% in night trading after the company beat the Street with quarterly results but guided for full year in line to below the Street's view. The loss was minimized only slightly the next day when shares fell 5.8%.
  • On January 5, 2006, ACN rose 2.6% in evening trade after topping Q1 expectations and issuing solid guidance. The shares rose further the next day, ending the regular session up 4.9%.
  • On October 6, 2005 ACN advanced 2.2% in night trade after the company beat estimates and guided in-line. The stock added to its upside momentum on October 7, rising 5.6% by the closing bell.
  • On July 7, 2005 ACN jumped 5.4% in night trade after reporting results up over year ago levels and guiding mostly in line. Buyers swelled the issue even higher on July 8, goosing it 9% by the closing bell.
  • On April 7, 2005 ACN slipped 1.6% after the company beat expectations and guided in line. It lost a deeper 4.7% in the April 8 regular session.
  • On January 6, 2005 ACN advanced 2.8% in after-hours trade following better-than-expected results and guidance that called for meeting or beating the then-current Street estimates. The stock jumped 4.6% by the close on January 7.
  • On October 13, 2004 ACN shares declined 8.6% in pre-market trade after the company beat expectations but guided lower. It added to its downside between the bells, losing 9.9% by the October 13 close.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source: Accenture Rewards Longs Off Earnings-Driven After-Hours Moves