Accenture Results Top Expectations

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The FINANCIAL — Accenture PLC said on September 24 that its profit and revenue held up better than expected in its August quarter despite the impact of currency fluctuations, while the consulting company offered an earnings outlook for its newly started fiscal year that was mostly below Wall Street expectations, according to Nasdaq.

Accenture also said it has boosted its semiannual dividend by 8%, to $1.10 a share, and added $5 billion to its share- buyback program.

Accenture’s earnings have grown steadily in recent years, as its outsourcing and consulting businesses have enjoyed strong growth. Accenture was tapped last year to help fix the embattled website, and last December the company said it won a five-year $563 million contract to continue its work on the federal insurance site.

Meanwhile, Accenture’s digital revenues have surged and the company has moved to boost its cloud services. Earlier this month, the company agreed to buy cloud-computing consultancy Cloud Sherpas, which provides services to companies such as Google Inc. and Inc.

In the latest quarter, the consulting unit’s revenue grew 14% excluding currency impacts, while outsourcing revenue jumped 9% in the local currency.

Overall, Accenture reported fourth-quarter earnings of $737.6 million, up from $701 million a year ago. On a per-share basis, which includes profit from some noncontrolling interests, earnings rose to $1.15 a share from $1.08 a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected earnings of $1.12 a share.

Net revenue, or revenues before reimbursements, ticked up 1.4% to $7.89 billion. But excluding currency impacts, revenue would have grown 12%.

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Accenture had forecast net revenue to be between $7.45 billion and $7.70 billion.

For the year ending next August, Accenture said it expects earnings of $5.09 to $5.24 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast $5.22 a share in earnings.

The company forecast revenue growth of 5% to 8%, excluding the impact of foreign currency, which would represent a slowdown from the 11% growth in its 2015 fiscal year.

For its current quarter, Accenture said it expects revenue of $7.7 billion to $7.95 billion, including a negative 8.5% impact from foreign exchange. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast $8.1 billion in revenue.


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