Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Accenture offers management consultancy, technology and outsourcing services. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry over the past year. We are positive about Accenture’s latest product additions in the analytics application space, given the increasing demand for digital solutions. Moreover, Accenture’s strategy of growing through partnerships like Apple and acquisitions like IBB and VERAX are encouraging. The strategies have enabled Accenture to enter new markets, diversify and broaden its product portfolio, and maintain its leading position. Nonetheless, Accenture’s recent announcement of creating 15K new jobs by 2020 and investment plan of $1.4 billion for employee training and opening of 10 innovation centers across the U.S. cities may dent its bottom-line results in our opinion. Furthermore, increasing competition from peers and an uncertain macroeconomic environment may deter its growth to some extent.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on ACN. SunTrust Banks, Inc. cut shares of Accenture PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $122.15 to $130.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Monday, May 29th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $138.00 target price (up from $132.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $138.00 target price (up from $131.50) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $132.00 target price on shares of Accenture PLC and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Accenture PLC presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $133.25.

Accenture PLC (NYSE ACN) traded up 0.07% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $137.03. The company had a trading volume of 1,249,572 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average of $130.66 and a 200 day moving average of $124.88. Accenture PLC has a 1-year low of $109.50 and a 1-year high of $137.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $84.68 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27 and a beta of 1.11.

Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.52. Accenture PLC had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 43.96%. The firm had revenue of $8.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.82 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.41 earnings per share. Accenture PLC’s revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Accenture PLC will post $5.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Gianfranco Casati sold 6,836 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.97, for a total transaction of $840,622.92. Following the sale, the insider now owns 61,714 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,588,970.58. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.26, for a total value of $284,372.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 119,013 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,383,620.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 79,817 shares of company stock worth $9,920,929 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ACN. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. acquired a new position in Accenture PLC in the 2nd quarter valued at $533,000. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 23.4% during the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 854 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 162 shares in the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 64.2% during the 1st quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 918 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 359 shares in the last quarter. Manchester Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 7.0% during the 2nd quarter. Manchester Capital Management LLC now owns 920 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 2.0% during the 1st quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 978 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.73% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN)

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