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Accenture plc (ACN)

  • Tue, May 26, 10:40 AM
    • "We believe recent growth acceleration in consulting revenues and consulting bookings are sustainable given the company’s exposure to digital work (roughly 20% of FY15’s revenues, posting 20%+ growth), while the rest of Accenture’s (ACN - unchanged) revenue base is posting mid-single digit growth," writes Cowen's Moshe Katri, upgrading to Outperform and hiking his target by $20 to $110.
    • Katri adds digital could account for nearly 30% of Accenture's revenue by FY17 (ends Aug. '17) on an organic basis. The company has been busy acquiring smaller firms (I, II, III) to expand its digital reach.
    • Shares are near breakeven in spite of a 0.8% drop for the S&P. They remain within $1.50 of an all-time high of $97.95 (set last Tuesday).
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  • Thu, May 21, 9:30 AM
    • Alongside Goldman's list of 50 stocks appearing most as top holdings at hedge funds is its list of the 50 top shorts.
    • New additions this quarter: Baxter Intl (NYSE:BAX), UPS, Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR), NextEra (NYSE:NEE), Ford (NYSE:F), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Pioneer Natural (NYSE:PXD), Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), Seagate (NASDAQ:STX), AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO).
    • The full list (in order of $ value of short interest): AT&T (NYSE:T), Disney (NYSE:DIS), IBM, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), J&J (NYSE:JNJ), Deere (NYSE:DE), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Exelon (NYSE:EXC), GE, Boeing (NYSE:BA), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), UTX, Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), Merck (NYSE:MRK), (NYSE:CRM), AbbVie (ABBV), Conoco (NYSE:COP), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Emerson (NYSE:EMR), McDonald's (MCD), Reynolds (NYSE:RAI), Target (NYSE:TGT), Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO).
  • Mon, May 18, 1:37 PM
    • Accenture (ACN +0.5%) is acquiring Javelin Group, a U.K. consulting firm that helps retailers with their digital (online, mobile, etc.) strategies and service offerings. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Javelin has 160 employees. Accenture states its offerings include "digital market assessment and potential evaluation, digital performance improvement, omni-channel retail planning, retail analytics, supply chain fulfillment and operations, as well as location and international expansion strategy," as well as tech consulting and system implementation/support services.
    • Accenture, never shy to expand via M&A, recently announced a deal to buy consulting services firm Tquila UK. The company bought federal tech services firm Agilex in February, and energy/utility services firm Structure in January.
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  • Thu, Apr. 16, 1:02 PM
    • The Department of Education has awarded Accenture's (ACN -0.2%) federal services arm a 10-year, $966M contract to continue running/maintaining its Common Origination & Disbursement (COD) student aid system.
    • Accenture has been working on the COD system since 2001. It provides "integrated system operations, customer service, application maintenance, and hosting support" for federal student aid programs.
    • For reference, Accenture's total February quarter bookings amounted to $9.3B. Back in February, the company bought federal tech services firm Agilex.
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  • Thu, Mar. 26, 1:35 PM
    • In addition to beating FQ2 estimates, Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has hiked its FY15 (ends Aug. '15) local currency revenue growth guidance to 8%-10% from 5%-8%. However, forex is now expected to have an 800 bps impact on FY15 revenue growth, up from a prior 500 bps.
    • Due to the forex hit (widely expected), FY15 EPS guidance has been cut to $4.61-$4.71 from $4.66-$4.80 (consensus is at $4.75). Likewise, FQ1 revenue guidance of $7.35B-$7.6B (assumes an 1100 bps forex hit) is below a $7.63B consensus.
    • New consulting bookings fell by $400M Y/Y in FQ2 to $4.2B, and new outsourcing bookings by $400M to $5.1B. Forex had a 600 bps impact on bookings growth.
    • North American revenue was a strong point, rising 13% Y/Y to $3.41B. Europe fell 2% to $2.66B (700 bps forex hit), and "growth markets" rose 3% to $1.42B (900 bps forex hit). Telecom/media/tech revenue +8%; financial services +2%; health/public service +12%; products +6%; resources -1%.
    • Hurting EPS: Gross margin fell to 29.9% from 31.3% a year ago. Boosting EPS: SG&A spend fell to 16.3% of revenue from 17.9%, and $601M was spent to buy back 6.8M shares. Free cash flow was $220M, below net income of $743M.
    • Shares have surged to new highs.
    • FQ2 results, PR
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  • Thu, Mar. 26, 7:03 AM
    • Accenture (NYSE:ACN): FQ2 EPS of $1.08 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $7.5B (+5.2% Y/Y) beats by $120M.
    • Press Release
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  • Wed, Mar. 25, 5:30 PM
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 11:59 AM
    • A demonstration by Visa (NYSE:V), Pizza Hut (NYSE:YUM), and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) at the Mobile World Congress in Spain will give a peek at where the connected car concept can go.
    • The demo will mimic employees at a Pizza Hut location being alerted by the presence of a customer in a parking lot through Beacon and cellular connectivity.
    • Under the scenario, payments through Visa Checkout could allow drivers to never leave their car.
    • The partners will roll out the concept in a 3-month test run in California this spring.
  • Mon, Feb. 9, 4:02 PM
    • Accenture (ACN -0.9%) has bought Agilex, a provider of analytics, mobile management, software development, and cloud deployment services (among others) for U.S. federal clients. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Agilex's clients include the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and Commerce. The company will be added to Accenture's federal services arm (AFS), whose clients have included (per Accenture) 30 major federal organizations and every cabinet-level department.
    • Recent Accenture acquisitions: Structure, Reactive Media
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  • Tue, Jan. 6, 4:04 PM
    • Acquisition-happy Accenture (NYSE:ACN) is acquiring Structure, a 190-employee company that provides consulting and system integration services (among others) for energy and utility clients. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Accenture: "Structure's capabilities in grid operations and power systems engineering, combined with Accenture's global strengths in information technology, will provide our clients with comprehensive end-to-end solutions and services to support the integration of operational technologies with IT systems."
    • The company also plans to "combine Structure's market operations and commodities trading services with Accenture's capabilities in digital asset management." Last month, Accenture announced the acquisition of Australian digital design/ad agency Reactive Media.
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  • Dec. 30, 2014, 8:38 AM
    • The CMS has awarded Accenture (NYSE:ACN) a 5-year, $563M extension of its contract for the (i.e. Obamacare) insurance exchange site.
    • Accenture was tasked earlier this year with overhauling following its tumultuous debut. The company has deployed 500+ workers through its existing contract, which was set to expire in mid-2015.
    • For reference, Accenture had $7.7B in new bookings during the November quarter. Outsourcing bookings totaled $3.8B.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 18, 2014, 1:14 PM
    • In addition to beating FQ1 estimates, Accenture (ACN +4.3%) has hiked its guidance for FY15 (ends Aug. '15) local currency revenue growth to 5%-8% from 4%-7%. On the other hand, forex is now expected to have 500 bps impact on revenue, up from a prior 200 bps.
    • As a result, FY15 EPS guidance has been lowered to $4.66-$4.80 from $4.74-$4.88 - consensus is at $4.81 - and FQ2 revenue guidance of $7.25B-$7.5B is mostly below a $7.46B consensus. The market appears to have discounted forex pressures in advance.
    • FQ1 new bookings totaled $7.7B, down from $8.7B a year ago. Consulting bookings fell to $3.9B from $4.3B, and outsourcing bookings to $3.8B from $4.4B.
    • Gross margin fell 110 bps Y/Y to 32.2%, but cost controls helped SG&A spend fall to 17.1% of revenue from 18.7%. As a result, op. margin rose 20 bps to 15%. $670M was spent on buybacks.
    • North America revenue +11% to $3.44B; Europe +5% to $2.91B; "Growth Markets" +3% to $1.55B. Forex respectively had 400 bps and 600 bps impacts on Europe and Growth Markets revenue growth.
    • Accenture has made new highs. Outsourcing rivals Infosys (INFY +3%), Wipro (WIT +4.9%), and Cognizant (CTSH +4.3%) are also outperforming on a good day for equities.
    • FQ1 results, PR
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  • Dec. 18, 2014, 7:03 AM
    • Accenture (NYSE:ACN): FQ1 EPS of $1.29 beats by $0.09.
    • Revenue of $7.9B (+7.3% Y/Y) beats by $210M.
    • Press Release
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  • Dec. 17, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Dec. 3, 2014, 12:33 PM
    • Accenture (ACN +0.4%) is acquiring Reactive Media, an Australian agency providing Web and mobile design, advertising, and e-commerce services (among other things) to corporate clients. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Reactive has 130 employees, and claims to have seen revenue growth during each of its 17 years in existence. Accenture will add Reactive's offerings to its Accenture Interactive services unit.
    • The purchase follows the 2013 acquisitions of digital consulting firms Fjord and Acquity Group, each of which has already been folded into Accenture Interactive.
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  • Sep. 30, 2014, 11:59 AM
    • CLSA has launched coverage on IT outsourcing giants Accenture (ACN +2%) and Cognizant (CTSH +2%) with Outperform ratings.
    • Accenture has been range-bound in 2014. Cognizant, meanwhile, hasn't yet recovered from the early-August nosedive it took after providing soft guidance provided with its Q2 EPS beat.
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Company Description
Accenture PLC is a professional service company. The Company is engaged in providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services to clients.
Sector: Services
Country: United States