Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $145.00 target price on the information technology services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 11.83% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Accenture is one of world’s leading providers of management consultancy, technology and outsourcing services. We are positive about Accenture’s latest product additions in the analytics application space, given the increasing demand for digital solutions. Moreover, Accenture’s strategy of growing through acquisitions is encouraging. The acquisitions have enabled Accenture to enter new markets, diversify and broaden its product portfolio, and maintain its leading position. Notably, shares of the company outperformed the broader market over the past year. Nonetheless, Accenture’s recent announcement of creating 15K new jobs by 2020 and investment plan of $1.4 billion for employee training and opening of 10 innovation centers across the U.S. cities may dent its bottom-line results in our opinion. Furthermore, increasing competition from peers and an uncertain macroeconomic environment may deter its growth to some extent.”

ACN has been the subject of several other research reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 price target (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $138.00 price target (up previously from $131.50) on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Friday, June 16th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. lowered Accenture PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $122.15 to $130.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Berenberg Bank set a $140.00 price target on Accenture PLC and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price target on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $131.17.

Shares of Accenture PLC (ACN) opened at 129.66 on Monday. Accenture PLC has a 12 month low of $108.83 and a 12 month high of $130.67. The company has a market cap of $80.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.96 and a beta of 1.11. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $128.12 and its 200 day moving average is $123.50.

Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.52. The firm had revenue of $8.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.82 billion. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 43.96% and a net margin of 9.92%. Accenture PLC’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.41 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Accenture PLC will post $5.90 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Accenture PLC news, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $127.51, for a total transaction of $280,522.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 119,942 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,293,804.42. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 40,134 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.02, for a total value of $4,937,284.68. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 222,362 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,354,973.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 79,817 shares of company stock valued at $9,920,929. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 2,139.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 39,462,967 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $4,730,821,000 after buying an additional 37,700,871 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 6.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 47,379,397 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $5,679,843,000 after buying an additional 2,749,896 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 2,531.4% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,520,680 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $311,760,000 after buying an additional 2,424,888 shares during the period. BT Investment Management Ltd bought a new position in shares of Accenture PLC during the second quarter worth about $220,158,000. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Accenture PLC by 8.8% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 21,583,126 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,587,385,000 after buying an additional 1,738,262 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.78% of the company’s stock.

Accenture PLC Company Profile

Accenture plc is a professional services company serving clients in various industries and in geographic regions, including North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The Company provides management and technology consulting services. Its segments include Communications, Media and Technology; Financial Services; Health and Public Service; Products, and Resources.

Analyst Recommendations for Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN)

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