Markets & Finance

Legg Mason Raises Estimates on Accenture

Accenture (ACN) posted fourth quarter EPS of 38 cents, vs. 30 cents one year earlier on. On Oct. 7, Legg Mason raised its estimates on Accenture.

Analyst William Loomis says fourth quarter revenue, operating margin, and EPS were ahead of his forecasts and the Street consensus, with bookings and free cash-flow in line with expectations. Loomis notes consulting bookings were a bit light vs. his estimates, a trend to monitor, but the demand environment appears healthy and management's tone was very bullish. Loomis says Accenture declared a 30-cent dividend, which he views as higher than many had expected; he thinks this, and the company's share repurchases, demonstrate continued action in interests of its shareholders.

The analyst raised his $4.075 billion first quarter revenue estimate to $4.113 billion; and his fiscal 2006 (August) forecast of $1.63 EPS on $16.859 billion in revenue to $1.64 on $16.954 billion. He has a $30 price target.

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