Plus, let's not forget the Street used similar language following the last quarter's downbeat guidance, citing "weak underlying business trends." Yet, there were no signs of any erosion. I'm not suggesting that investors should ignore the company's guidance. But I don't believe management's revenue range of $7 billion to $7.3 billion for the December quarter is that far off from consensus estimates of $7.39.
I also want to point out that Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme, who, in my opinion, is a very underrated leader, talked about how the company plans to invest in growth areas like digital marketing, mobility and business process capabilities. The company is looking for ways to differentiate its offerings, while building better leverage.
Unlike Infosys, which has been somewhat "reactionary," Accenture is not waiting for the market to dictate its next course. To the extent that management can adequately respond and execute on these initiatives, not only will Accenture continue to secure more market share from its rivals, the company's analytics and cloud goals will immediately open up new markets against the likes of Oracle and
As I've said, no one really knows when IT consulting services, which was once a dominant industry, will regain the Street's confidence. For Accenture, though, which just grew revenue 8% and 2% in the Americas and Europe, respectively, the company has earned the benefit of the doubt.
Make no mistake, there is still plenty of work to be done. I'm encouraged by management's commitment to not only grow the company but also return value to shareholders. With indicators suggesting the underlying market conditions are beginning to stabilize, I believe Accenture deserves a long look. If the company can grow its free cash flow at a reasonable rate of 5% to 6%, this stock should command a fair market value of $90 over the next 12 to 18 months.
At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.