Accenture PLC (ACN) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $135.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.70% from the company’s current price.
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 research analysts have also weighed in on ACN. Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 target price on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Monday, June 20th. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Monday, June 20th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $112.00 price objective (up from $104.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Susquehanna reaffirmed a “positive” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on Accenture PLC from $121.00 to $127.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, June 24th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $124.75.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) opened at 120.86 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $75.24 billion, a PE ratio of 18.74 and a beta of 1.24. Accenture PLC has a one year low of $91.40 and a one year high of $124.96. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $114.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $114.76.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, September 29th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $8.49 billion for the quarter. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 47.07% and a net margin of 12.00%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.15 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Accenture PLC will post $5.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Richard P. Clark sold 876 shares of the firm’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 transaction of $99,364.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 16,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,859,798.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, General Counsel Chad T. Jerdee sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.35, for a total value of $453,400.00. Following the sale, the general counsel now directly owns 28,755 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,259,379.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.17% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group raised its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 0.3% in the second quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 4,684 shares of the company’s stock valued at $531,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 0.4% in the second quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 5,155 shares of the company’s stock valued at $584,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the last quarter. Pitcairn Co. raised its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 1.2% in the second quarter. Pitcairn Co. now owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,000 after buying an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 1.8% in the second quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,445 shares of the company’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Round Table Services LLC raised its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 1.4% in the second quarter. Round Table Services LLC now owns 2,097 shares of the company’s stock valued at $238,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. 77.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Accenture PLC
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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