Accenture (NYSE:ACN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Accenture (NYSE:ACN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, June 20th.

According to Zacks, “Accenture’s market share and revenues dependence on client relationships and the number of contracts it secures remains a concern. This, along with the limited scope for product differentiation, makes the renegotiation of large contracts extremely important. As a result, competition from strong companies is a constant pressure. Further, foreign currency exchange rate risks and integration risks continue to hurt the company’s prospects. Despite such headwinds, Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst. Further, the company has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite. Its strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders. The company has outperformed its industry in the past year.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. William Blair reissued an outperform rating on shares of Accenture in a report on Thursday, March 22nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $151.00 price objective on shares of Accenture and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, April 26th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Accenture from $156.00 to $158.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, March 23rd. KeyCorp lifted their price target on shares of Accenture from $172.00 to $181.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Finally, Pivotal Research set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Accenture and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 20th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $162.11.

ACN stock opened at $163.59 on Wednesday. Accenture has a 52-week low of $122.03 and a 52-week high of $165.58. The stock has a market cap of $104.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.68, a PEG ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 1.03.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $10.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.04 billion. Accenture had a net margin of 9.76% and a return on equity of 42.01%. The firm’s revenue was up 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.52 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Accenture will post 6.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Gianfranco Casati sold 5,063 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.99, for a total value of $774,588.37. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 47,802 shares in the company, valued at $7,313,227.98. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.10, for a total transaction of $312,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 120,025 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,735,902.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 10,333 shares of company stock worth $1,586,869 over the last three months. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Deutsche Bank AG increased its position in Accenture by 34.3% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 1,453,595 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $222,522,000 after purchasing an additional 370,895 shares during the period. Financial Advocates Investment Management purchased a new position in Accenture during the 1st quarter valued at $357,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its position in Accenture by 2.6% during the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 4,338,133 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $664,123,000 after purchasing an additional 109,935 shares during the period. Ironvine Capital Partners LLC purchased a new position in Accenture during the 4th quarter valued at $2,040,000. Finally, Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its position in Accenture by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 81,850 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $12,530,000 after purchasing an additional 815 shares during the period. 73.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Accenture Company Profile

Accenture plc provides consulting, technology, and outsourcing services worldwide. Its Communications, Media & Technology segment provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation, and enhance business results through industry-specific solutions for communications, media, and high tech industries, as well as for software platforms.

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