Earnings Preview For Accenture PLC

| About: Accenture plc (ACN)
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By Robert Weinstein

Accenture (NYSE:ACN)

Background: Accenture is a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing organization. The Company's business is structured around five operating groups, namely, Communications and High Tech, Financial Services, Products, Public Service and Resources. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments .Accenture trades an average of 2.9 million shares per day with a market cap of $41 billion.

52 Week Range: $49.43 - $66.75

Book Value: $6.00

Price To Book: 9.21

Investors aren't expecting an improvement in earnings. Analysts forecast per share results below last year in the same quarter.

The consensus estimate is currently 88 cents a share, backsliding 3 cents (3.3%) from 91 cents during the matching period in the previous year. The earnings release is planned after the market closes on September 27, 2012.

Last quarter ACN's earnings release was held on June 28, 2012, and the previous closing price was $56.63. Relative to a current price of $65.19, shares are up 15.1%.

Over half the analysts covering Accenture rate the company a buy or strong buy. 14 of the 22 analysts covering the company give a buy recommendation. 8 analysts rate it a hold, and none of the analysts recommend selling.

The average analyst target price for Accenture is $67.14. Shares nearly reached the analyst target with a recent high of $66.75. Shares remain in a bullish trend, although somewhat overbought technically. Fundamentally, shares are in the happy medium.

The fiscal year mean estimated price-to-earnings ratio is 15.9, based on earnings of $4.13 per share this year. The earnings multiple is well within my comfort level.

The current yield is 2.06%, and pays $1.35 annually. The Company has a strong history of raising the dividend amount. Dividends have moved up 31% on average, each year during the last five years.

Short interest is small at 1.1%, and not a red flag.

Competitors and others in the sector include:


Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM)

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

Strong Buy 10 10 1 1
Moderate Buy 4 1 0 0
Hold 8 12 7 9
Moderate Sell Ratings 0 0 1 0
Strong Sell Ratings 0 0 0 1
Ave Analyst Price Target $67.14 $215.72 $18.13 $31.44

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.