Accenture plc (ACN)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

March 24, 2011 4:30 pm ET


Pamela Craig - Chief Financial Officer

Company Speaker -

Pierre Nanterme - Chief Executive Officer and Director


Joseph Foresi - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

Adam Frisch - Morgan Stanley

George Price - BB&T Capital Markets

Julio Quinteros - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Tim Fox - Deutsche Bank AG

Tien-Tsin Huang - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Edward Caso - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Rod Bourgeois - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc.

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital



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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Accenture's Second Quarter Fiscal 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] And with that, I'd like to turn the conference over to Managing Director of Investor Relations, K.C. McClure [ph].

Company Speaker

Thank you, Doug, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today on our second quarter fiscal 2011 earnings announcement. As Doug just mentioned, I'm K.C. McClure [ph], Managing Director of Investor Relations. With me today are Pierre Nanterme, our Chief Executive Officer; and Pamela Craig, our Chief Financial Officer.

We hope you've had an opportunity to review the news release we issued a short time ago. Let me quickly outline the agenda for today's call. Pierre will begin with an overview of our results. Pam will take you through the financial details, including the income statement and balance sheet, along with some key operational metrics for the second quarter.

Pierre will then provide a brief update on our market positioning and progress against our growth strategy. Pam will then provide our business outlook for the third quarter and full fiscal year 2011, and then we will take your questions before Pierre provides a wrap-up at the end of the call.

As a reminder, when we discuss revenues during today's call, we're talking about revenues before reimbursements or net revenues. Some of the matters we'll discuss in this call are forward-looking, and you should keep in mind that these forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.

Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions and those factors set forth in today's news release and discussed under the Risk Factors section of our annual report on Form 10-K and other SEC filings.

During our call today, we will reference certain non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe provide useful information for investors. We include reconciliation of those measures where appropriate to GAAP in our news release or on the Investor Relations section of our website at As always, Accenture assumes no obligation to update the information presented on this conference call.

Now let me turn the call over to Pierre.

Pierre Nanterme

Thank you, K.C. [ph], and thanks, everyone, for joining us. It's a pleasure for me to be with you today on my first earnings call as Chief Executive Officer. I'm pleased to report that we had a very strong second quarter, continuing the good momentum of the past few quarters. Let me share a few highlights.

We generated outstanding new bookings of $7 billion, our highest in 10 quarters, including our second-highest Consulting bookings ever. Revenues were $6 billion, exceeding the upper end of our guiding range. We had very strong growth in both U.S. dollars and local currency across our operating groups and geographic regions.

We delivered very strong earnings per share of $0.75, an increase of $0.15 or 25% over Q2 last year. Operating income was $772 million, an increase of 19% over last year and operating margin was 12.7%. And we continue to have a very strong balance sheet, with a cash balance of $4.7 billion.

In addition, we just announced a semiannual cash dividend of $0.45 per share, bringing the total dividend payments for the year to $0.90 per share.

Our very strong results in the second quarter, on top of our strong results in Q1, position us very well for the remainder of the fiscal year, and give us confidence to raise our revenue and EPS outlook for the full fiscal year. Now, I will turn the call over to Pam, who will provide some more detail on the numbers.

Pamela Craig

Thank you, Pierre, and thanks to all of you for listening today. I am pleased to tell you more about Accenture's fiscal year 2011 second quarter financial results. We delivered strong bookings, revenue growth, and EPS in Q2 and saw growing momentum in the business while gaining market share.

Year-over-year, local-currency revenue grew double digits in both Consulting and Outsourcing, and our strong performance established in the first half of the year positions us well to deliver double-digit top line growth and outstanding bottom line growth for the full fiscal year.

Now let's get to the numbers. Unless I state otherwise, all figures are U.S. GAAP except the items that are not part of the financial statements or within the calculations. New bookings for the quarter were $6.98 billion and reflect a negative 1% foreign exchange impact compared with new bookings in the second quarter last year. Consulting bookings were $3.8 billion, and Outsourcing bookings were $3.18 billion. This level of bookings was the highest in 10 quarters.

On Bookings, in Management Consulting, clients are engaging us to help them identify and create critical value in their businesses, driven by their needs to take out costs, to drive more top line growth or to change to meet new compliance requirements. We continue to see healthy demand for our offerings in finance and performance management, supply chain optimization, customer service effectiveness and sales and marketing transformation.

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