Accenture (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Accenture has been steadily gaining traction in its outsourcing business. Acquisitions have been a key growth catalyst which are expected to contribute significantly to the company's revenue stream. Accenture has been strategically enhancing its cloud and digital marketing suite through acquisitions and partnerships. The company’s strong operating cash flow has helped it reward its shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. Despite such tailwinds, shares of Accenture have underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year.  The company faces competition from strong companies like Genpact Limited, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Infosys. Buyout-related integration risks can impact the company’s organic growth. Global presence exposes Accenture to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. “

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on ACN. Pivotal Research set a $180.00 price objective on Accenture and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 5th. UBS Group upgraded Accenture from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. Susquehanna Bancshares upgraded Accenture from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $165.00 to $190.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Accenture from $170.00 to $179.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their price target on Accenture from $165.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $167.98.

Shares of ACN opened at $172.97 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $116.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.27, a P/E/G ratio of 2.32 and a beta of 0.97. Accenture has a 12 month low of $132.27 and a 12 month high of $175.64.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $10.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.04 billion. Accenture had a return on equity of 42.01% and a net margin of 9.76%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.52 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Accenture will post 6.71 EPS for the current year.

In other Accenture news, General Counsel Chad T. Jerdee sold 1,141 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.30, for a total transaction of $185,184.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, General Counsel Chad T. Jerdee sold 788 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.02, for a total value of $130,823.76. Following the sale, the general counsel now owns 9,433 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,566,066.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 54,357 shares of company stock worth $8,865,112 in the last 90 days. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Accenture by 2.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,175,666 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $7,063,106,000 after buying an additional 826,900 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Accenture by 1.5% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,404,851 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,702,132,000 after buying an additional 153,734 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Accenture by 2.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 9,808,588 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,604,587,000 after buying an additional 246,828 shares in the last quarter. WCM Investment Management CA raised its stake in Accenture by 3.4% during the second quarter. WCM Investment Management CA now owns 5,693,465 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $931,394,000 after buying an additional 189,666 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Summit Trail Advisors LLC raised its stake in Accenture by 14,894.9% during the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 5,129,307 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $5,129,000 after buying an additional 5,095,100 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.18% of the company’s stock.

Accenture Company Profile

Accenture plc provides consulting, technology, and outsourcing services worldwide. Its Communications, Media & Technology segment provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation, and enhance business results through industry-specific solutions for communications, media, and high tech industries, as well as for software platforms.

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