Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $135.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “The world’s leading IT management services provider, Accenture, recently delivered better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Also, earnings increased on a year-over-year basis, primarily attributable to higher revenues, lower tax rate and share count. Moreover, the company provided encouraging first quarter and fiscal 2017 guidance. Going forward, we are positive about Accenture’s latest product additions in the analytics application space, given the increasing demand for digital solutions. We also expect Accenture’s investment in digital and marketing capabilities to boost long-term growth. Furthermore, Accenture’s strategy of growing through acquisitions is encouraging. However, increasing competition from peers, an uncertain macroeconomic environment and a strained IT spending scenario may deter its growth to some extent.”
Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Pacific Crest upped their price target on Accenture PLC from $129.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Jefferies Group upped their price target on Accenture PLC from $111.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Cantor Fitzgerald upped their price target on Accenture PLC from $132.00 to $139.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $124.00 price objective on Accenture PLC and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Saturday, October 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a market perform rating and set a $125.00 price objective (up previously from $118.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Sunday, October 2nd. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $124.75.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) opened at 116.00 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $114.62 and its 200 day moving average is $114.94. The company has a market cap of $72.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.98 and a beta of 1.24. Accenture PLC has a 12-month low of $91.40 and a 12-month high of $124.96.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 29th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.01. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 47.07% and a net margin of 12.00%. The firm had revenue of $8.49 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.15 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Accenture PLC will post $5.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Accenture PLC news, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 44,625 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.04, for a total value of $5,267,535.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 162,615 shares in the company, valued at $19,195,074.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Richard P. Clark sold 876 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.43, for a total value of $99,364.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 16,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,859,798.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ACN. Cribstone Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Accenture PLC during the second quarter worth about $104,000. Exane Derivatives increased its position in Accenture PLC by 92.0% in the second quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 954 shares of the company’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 457 shares during the period. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC increased its position in Accenture PLC by 1,091.0% in the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 1,060 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 971 shares during the period. Tanaka Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Accenture PLC by 314.8% in the second quarter. Tanaka Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,120 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 850 shares during the period. Finally, Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC increased its position in Accenture PLC by 18.0% in the second quarter. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC now owns 1,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 185 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.18% of the company’s stock.
Accenture PLC Company Profile
Accenture plc is engaged in providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Company’s business is structured around five operating groups, which together consists of 19 industry groups serving clients in industries globally. The Company’s segment includes Communications, Media & Technology, Financial Services, Health & Public Service, Products and Resources.
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