Updated from 4:37 p.m. EDTAccenture ( ACN) posted fourth-quarter results Thursday that exceeded analysts' estimates and announced a long-anticipated dividend. The information technology service provider said net income rose to $229.1 million, or 38 cents a share, from $183 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier. Net revenue grew to $3.92 billion from $3.42 billion in the same quarter last year. The EPS figure beat by two pennies the consensus estimate of 36 cents gathered by Thomson First Call; revenue results also exceeded analysts' average expectations of $3.85 billion. For the first quarter, Accenture expects net revenue of $4.0 billion to $4.2 billion and earnings of 32 cents to 34 cents a share under generally accepted accounting principles. Analysts were expecting earnings of 37 cents, excluding stock options, on $4.07 billion in revenue. As expected, Accenture said it expects net revenue growth in fiscal year 2006 to range from 9% to 12% in local currency. GAAP earnings are expected to range from $1.45 to $1.50 a share, including stock-based charges. Analysts were expecting full-year earnings at $1.62 a share excluding stock charges on sales of $16.88 billion, which represents annual sales growth of 8.5%. Accenture will start expensing stock options in fiscal 2006. Had the company expensed options in fiscal '05 the impact would have been 16 cents a share. Including that expense and removing a one-time benefit of 12 cents a share from a reduction in reorganization liabilities, Accenture's 2005 earnings would have fallen to $1.28 from $1.56 a share. Assuming stock charges are the same next year and split equally among the four quarters, Accenture's first-quarter earnings would range from 36 cents to 38 cents a share excluding stock charges and its full-year earnings would range from $1.61 to $1.66 a share.