Accenture Shares Off as Quarterly Profit, Outlook Miss

Accenture shares are lower after the consultant misses 4th-quarter expectations.
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Accenture  (ACN) - Get Report shares were lower on Thursday after the consulting, technology and outsourcing service provider missed Wall Street's earnings expectations.

Shares of the Dublin company at last check were down 6.3% to $216.

For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Aug. 31 Accenture reported net income of $1.29 billion, or $1.99 a share, up from $1.13 billion, or $1.74 a share, in the year-earlier quarter.  

The latest adjusted earnings came to $1.70, falling short of FactSet's forecast for $1.73 per share. 

Revenue totaled $10.84 billion, down 2% from a year earlier, while the FactSet consensus called for $10.93 billion.

Revenue growth slipped due to a decline in revenues from reimbursable travel costs, the company said.

New bookings rose 8% to $14 billion, the company’s second-highest ever, including $6.5 billion from consulting and $7.5 billion from outsourcing.

For fiscal 2021, Accenture said it expects earnings to range from $7.80 to $8.10, while FactSet is calling for earnings of $8.13. 

The company said the coronavirus outbreak created significant "volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption," and its outlook "reflects its assumptions, as of today, regarding the continued effect" of the pandemic.

Accenture also increased the quarterly cash dividend 10% to 88 cents a share, payable Nov. 13 to holders of record Oct. 13.

And the board approved $5 billion of additional share-buyback authority, bringing Accenture’s total buyback authority to about $6.3 billion.

Last week, Accenture said it formed Accenture Cloud First, a $3 billion investment over the next three years designed to help its clients become "cloud first" businesses.