Accenture (ACN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

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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 released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Accenture have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year. The company faces competition from strong companies like Genpact Limited, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Infosys. Competition is particularly tough in the case of resurgent regions like Europe, since all the major players are fighting for business. This naturally increases pricing pressure. Buyout-related integration risks can impact the company’s organic growth. Global presence exposes the company to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Despite such headwinds, Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. It has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst. Accenture’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on ACN. Pivotal Research set a $180.00 target price on shares of Accenture and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, May 11th. UBS Group upgraded shares of Accenture from a neutral rating to a positive rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 19th. Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded shares of Accenture from a neutral rating to a positive rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $165.00 to $190.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 19th. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on shares of Accenture from $170.00 to $179.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on shares of Accenture from $165.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Accenture has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $162.11.

Shares of NYSE ACN opened at $168.64 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $114.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.46, a P/E/G ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.97. Accenture has a one year low of $130.05 and a one year high of $169.92.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $10.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.04 billion. Accenture had a net margin of 9.76% and a return on equity of 42.01%. The business’s revenue was up 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.52 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Accenture will post 6.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Johan Deblaere sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.36, for a total value of $811,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 32,376 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.39, for a total transaction of $5,257,538.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 54,357 shares of company stock worth $8,865,112 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Accenture by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,175,666 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $7,063,106,000 after purchasing an additional 826,900 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Accenture by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,404,851 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,702,132,000 after purchasing an additional 153,734 shares during the last quarter. WCM Investment Management CA raised its stake in Accenture by 4.2% in the 1st quarter. WCM Investment Management CA now owns 5,503,799 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $844,833,000 after purchasing an additional 223,617 shares during the last quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC raised its stake in Accenture by 14,894.9% in the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 5,129,307 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $5,129,000 after purchasing an additional 5,095,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Polen Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Accenture by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 5,124,412 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $838,303,000 after purchasing an additional 75,613 shares during the last quarter. 70.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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