Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $135.00 price objective 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.”
A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. Pacific Crest lifted their price objective on Accenture PLC from $129.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Group lifted their target price on Accenture PLC from $111.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday. Cantor Fitzgerald lifted their target price on Accenture PLC from $132.00 to $139.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $124.00 target price on Accenture PLC and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Saturday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a market perform rating and issued a $125.00 target price (up previously from $118.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Sunday. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $124.75.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) traded down 0.58% on Tuesday, hitting $117.56. The stock had a trading volume of 671,604 shares. The firm has a market cap of $73.19 billion, a PE ratio of 18.23 and a beta of 1.25. The company’s 50 day moving average is $114.21 and its 200 day moving average is $114.84. 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 data on Thursday, September 29th. The company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.01. The business earned $8.49 billion during the quarter. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 47.07% and a net margin of 12.00%. Accenture PLC’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.15 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Accenture PLC will post $5.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other Accenture PLC news, insider Richard P. Clark sold 876 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 16,396 shares in the company, valued at $1,859,798.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Gianfranco Casati sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.29, for a total value of $606,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 62,160 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,539,386.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ACN. Cribstone Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Accenture PLC during the second quarter worth $104,000. Exane Derivatives increased its stake 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 stake 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 stake 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, City Holding Co. increased its stake in Accenture PLC by 8.4% in the second quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 1,221 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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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