Markets & Finance

Accenture Climbs on Strong Results


The technology services provider also boosted its fiscal 2007 outlook

Accenture's (ACN) share price rose to a new high for the year on Dec. 21, after the technology services provider announced a stronger profit and raised its forecast.

The Bermuda-based company said its net income amounted to $284.2 million during the three months ended Nov. 30, up 32% from the same period last year.

Net revenues soared 14% year over year to $4.75 billion during the quarter, the highest in Accenture's history. Gains were driven by improvements in the company's Financial Services, Products and Resources business operating groups, as well as its sales of consulting and outsourcing services.

Now Accenture thinks net revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2007 will be in the range of $4.6 billion to $4.8 billion. Accenture also raised its outlook for the full fiscal year 2007's earnings per share by 3 cents to a range of $1.80 to $1.85, up from its previously expected range of $1.77 to $1.82.

"We had a tremendous first quarter," said William D. Green, Accenture's CEO, in a press release. "With $5.5 billion in new bookings, we are seeing sustained demand for our services, particularly in consulting." Accenture continues to target new bookings for fiscal 2007 in the range of $22 billion to $24 billion.

After the news investors bid up Accenture's stock 5.7% to $37.07 per share in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Standard & Poor's Equity Research hiked its 12-month target price by $3 to $37, noting the positive results and favorable growth expectations for Accenture's outsourcing business. (S&P, like BusinessWeek.com, is owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies.)

Accenture's stock had also gained on Sept. 29, after the technology services company handed large problem contracts with the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) to its rival Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC). The multi-billion information technology services deals had made Accenture record a loss provision of $450 million earlier in the year (see BusinessWeek.com, 9/29/06, "Accenture Wins by Losing").


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