Accenture's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Accenture (ACN)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

March 22, 2012 4:30 pm ET


KC McClure -

Pierre Nanterme - Chief Executive Officer and Director

Pamela J. Craig - Chief Financial Officer


Tien-Tsin T. Huang - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Rod Bourgeois - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Julio C. Quinteros - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Bryan Keane - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Nathan A. Rozof - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Darrin D. Peller - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Jason Kupferberg - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Ashwin Shirvaikar - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Arvind A. Ramnani - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Joseph D. Foresi - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Research Division



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to Accenture's Second Quarter Fiscal 2012 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. I'd now like to turn the conference over to Senior Director of Investor Relations, KC McClure. Please go ahead.

KC McClure

Thank you, Ryan, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today on our Second Quarter Fiscal 2012 Earnings Announcement. As Ryan just mentioned, I'm KC McClure, Managing Director of Investor Relation. 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 market positioning and progress against our growth strategy. Pam will then provide our business outlook for the third quarter and full fiscal year 2012, 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 on this call are forward looking, including the business outlook. 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 and that such statements are not a guarantee of our future performance. 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 Factor section of our annual review on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q 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 reconciliations 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, KC. And thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Our excellent results for the second quarter, including strong top and bottom line growth, demonstrate that our strategy continues to resonate with our clients and that we are running our business with rigor and discipline.

Here are a few highlights. We generated new bookings of nearly $8 billion. Revenues were $6.8 billion, up 13% in local currency, with all 5 operating groups and all 3 geographic regions delivering double-digit local currency growth. We delivered very strong earnings per share of $0.97, an increase of 29%. Operating income was $889 million, an increase of 15% over last year. And we continued to have a very strong balance sheet, ending the quarter with a cash balance of $5.6 billion.

In addition, I'm very pleased that we just announced a semiannual cash dividend of $0.675 per share, which brings the total dividend payments for the year to $1.35 per share. And given our very strong results for the first half of fiscal year 2012, we are raising our outlook for revenue growth and EPS for the full year.

Now let me hand over to Pam, who will review the numbers in greater details. Pam, over to you.

Pamela J. Craig

Thank you, Pierre, and thanks to all of you for listening today. I am pleased to share more about Accenture's excellent second quarter financial results for our fiscal '12. New bookings were again strong, just shy of $8 billion. Revenue came in at the top end of the range we guided to last quarter, and EPS for Q2 were very strong.

Revenue growth was broad-based across our operating groups and geographic regions, with outsourcing growth higher than consulting for most of those dimensions. Our performance through the first half of the year and into calendar 2012 positions us well to achieve our targets 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 that are calculations.

New bookings for the quarter were $7.94 billion and reflect a negative 1% foreign exchange impact compared with new bookings in the second quarter last year. Consulting bookings were $4.05 billion, and outsourcing bookings were $3.89 billion.

Let me give you some color on new bookings in the quarter. In management consulting we continued to see strong bookings, reflecting an ongoing client demand for projects that deliver near-term and structural cost takeout, especially in the supply chain. We saw increased demand from clients seeking to drive new revenue through improved sales and marketing effectiveness, and demand also continued for services on large-scale business transformation programs.

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