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Accenture

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said it expects its earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 to exceed analysts' expectations.

The consulting firm forecasts its earnings per share for the quarter ended Nov. 30 will be 27 cents, above analysts' consensus estimate of 24 cents. It expects net revenue to be in the range of $2.90 billion to $2.95 billion, slightly exceeding analysts' consensus estimate of $2.87 billion.

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Nonetheless, Accenture expressed caution about its business outlook amid the unstable economic and geopolitical climate.

Accenture anticipates earnings per share for the second quarter ending Feb. 28, 2003, to be in the range of 21 cents to 25 cents, and net revenue to decline 1% to 6% from net revenue in the same quarter of fiscal 2002.

For the full fiscal-year 2003, Accenture stuck to its target of earnings per share of $1.05 and net revenue growth of 0% to 2% over fiscal 2002 net revenue.