Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published 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.”
Several other research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Pacific Crest raised their target price on shares of Accenture PLC from $129.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday. Jefferies Group raised their target price on shares of Accenture PLC from $111.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday. Cantor Fitzgerald raised their target price on shares of Accenture PLC from $132.00 to $139.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $124.00 target price on shares of 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 issued a $125.00 price target (up from $118.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a research 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 given a strong buy rating to the company. Accenture PLC has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $124.75.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) opened at 118.52 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $73.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.38 and a beta of 1.25. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $114.51 and a 200 day moving average of $114.89. Accenture PLC has a 52 week low of $91.40 and a 52 week high of $124.96.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, September 29th. The company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.01. Accenture PLC had a net margin of 12.00% and a return on equity of 47.07%. The company earned $8.49 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.15 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Accenture PLC will post $5.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Accenture PLC news, insider Richard P. Clark sold 876 shares of Accenture PLC stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.43, for a total transaction of $99,364.68. Following the sale, the insider now owns 16,396 shares in the company, valued at $1,859,798.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Daniel T. London sold 3,686 shares of Accenture PLC stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.57, for a total transaction of $425,991.02. Following the sale, the insider now owns 26,023 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,007,478.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.17% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Pacad Investment Ltd. increased its stake in Accenture PLC by 517.9% in the first quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 44,488 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,134,000 after buying an additional 37,288 shares in the last quarter. WASHINGTON TRUST Co increased its stake in Accenture PLC by 2.2% in the first quarter. WASHINGTON TRUST Co now owns 77,021 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,888,000 after buying an additional 1,642 shares in the last quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its stake in Accenture PLC by 98.0% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 427,894 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,379,000 after buying an additional 211,768 shares in the last quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its stake in Accenture PLC by 7.4% in the first quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 5,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $586,000 after buying an additional 352 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in Accenture PLC by 39.5% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,621,545 shares of the company’s stock worth $187,125,000 after buying an additional 459,510 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.18% of the company’s stock.
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.