Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) – Equities research analysts at SunTrust Banks lowered their Q4 2017 earnings estimates for shares of Accenture Plc in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks analyst F. Atkins now anticipates that the information technology services provider will post earnings of $1.48 per share for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $1.49. SunTrust Banks has a “Hold” rating and a $130.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Accenture Plc’s Q1 2018 earnings at $1.61 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.67 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $6.42 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $6.95 EPS.

Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 23rd. The information technology services provider reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $8.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.34 billion. Accenture Plc had a net margin of 12.34% and a return on equity of 46.99%. The business’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.34 EPS.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on shares of Accenture Plc to $125.00 in a report on Friday, March 24th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Accenture Plc from $128.00 to $138.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Accenture Plc from $127.00 to $133.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 24th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $124.00 price objective on shares of Accenture Plc in a report on Friday, March 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Accenture Plc from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Accenture Plc currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $128.16.

Shares of Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) opened at 121.95 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $119.60 and a 200-day moving average of $119.53. Accenture Plc has a 1-year low of $108.66 and a 1-year high of $126.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $75.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.31 and a beta of 1.17.

The company also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 13th were paid a dividend of $1.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 11th. This represents a dividend yield of 2.03%. This is a positive change from Accenture Plc’s previous semiannual dividend of $1.02. Accenture Plc’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.85%.

In other news, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 39,499 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.75, for a total transaction of $4,769,504.25. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 258,306 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $31,190,449.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Robert E. Sell sold 2,222 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.97, for a total transaction of $266,573.34. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 44,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,329,427.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 82,626 shares of company stock worth $9,919,492 in the last quarter. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Accenture Plc by 6.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 47,379,397 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $5,679,843,000 after buying an additional 2,749,896 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Accenture Plc by 2,139.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 39,462,967 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $4,730,821,000 after buying an additional 37,700,871 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Accenture Plc by 2.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 25,356,641 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $3,039,762,000 after buying an additional 665,860 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Accenture Plc by 8.8% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 21,583,126 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,587,385,000 after buying an additional 1,738,262 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Accenture Plc by 4.7% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 13,907,609 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $1,667,243,000 after buying an additional 625,381 shares during the last quarter. 77.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Accenture Plc

Accenture plc is a professional services company serving clients in various industries and in geographic regions, including North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The Company provides management and technology consulting services. Its segments include Communications, Media and Technology; Financial Services; Health and Public Service; Products, and Resources.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:ACN

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