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Accenture Rises as Profit Exceeds Estimate, Year Outlook Lifted

Accenture shares rise as the consultant boosts its prediction of adjusted earnings per share for fiscal 2021.
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Accenture  (ACN) - Get Accenture Plc Class A Report shares rose after the consulting firm lifted its 2021 estimates and reported better-than-expected earnings for the latest quarter.

It also raised the estimate of what it will return to shareholders through buybacks and dividends -- to $5.8 billion from $5.3 billion for fiscal 2021 ending Aug. 31.

Accenture boosted its prediction of adjusted earnings per share to a range of $8.32 to $8.50 from $8.02 to $8.25 and of revenue growth to a range of 6.5% to 8.5% from 4% to 6%.

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In the fiscal 2021 second quarter, ended Feb. 28, profit ascended to $1.44 billion, or $2.23 a share, from $1.24 billion, or $1.91 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings registered $2.03, besting the FactSet analyst consensus of $1.89.

Revenue gained 8.5% from a year earlier to $12.09 billion. That topped the analyst consensus of $11.8 billion.

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Accenture shares recently traded at $276, up 4.4%. They have gained 12% over the past six months, trailing the S&P 500’s 18% increase.

The Dublin company’s earnings beat expectations in the fiscal first quarter as well.

Prior to the latest earnings report, Morningstar analyst Julie Bhusal Sharma put fair value for the stock at $200.

Accenture’s "growth will remain at a healthy and gradual pace, rather than experience a massive uptick,” she wrote in a November commentary after the first-quarter earnings.

“Still, with Accenture’s prominent reputation, which we believe to be crucial to the consulting business, and its proven ability to bring expertise to a gamut of enterprise issues, we are confident Accenture will maintain its wide-moat business.”

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