Consulting firm


(ACN) - Get Report

said second-quarter profit rose, beating analysts' consensus by a penny. The company cited strong contract bookings.

The company also provided third-quarter guidance that falls short of analysts' estimates, although its full-year 2003 forecast falls in line with consensus.

In the quarter ended Feb. 28, Accenture earned $118.7 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $10.6 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting 24 cents a share.

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"We are pleased with Accenture's solid performance in the second quarter, especially taking into account the challenging economic and geopolitical environment in which we continue to operate," said Joe W. Forehand, Accenture's chief executive. "We had strong contract bookings in the quarter of approximately $4.75 billion, the second-highest in our company's history."

Revenue was down 3% to $2.83 billion, from $2.91 billion, the company said.

For the upcoming third quarter, the company expects to earn 24 cents to 26 cents a share, compared with analysts' expectations of 29 cents a share and last year's 27 cents a share. The company expects revenue to be down 2% to up 2%.

For full-year 2003, the company sees earnings of 98 cents to $1.05 a share and expects revenue to be flat to up 2%. Analysts, on average, expect $1.02 a share, and the company earned 91 cents a share in 2002 on revenue of $11.6 billion.

Shares of Bermuda-based Accenture closed at $14.06 Friday on the

New York Stock Exchange