Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $155.00 price target on the information technology services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.31% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Accenture offers management consultancy, technology and outsourcing services. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry over the past year. 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 partnerships like Apple and acquisitions like IBB and VERAX are encouraging. The strategies have enabled Accenture to enter new markets, diversify and broaden its product portfolio, and maintain its leading position. 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 a number of other research reports. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 price target on shares of Accenture PLC in a research note on Thursday. Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target (up previously from $135.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a research note on Tuesday. Bank of America Corporation assumed coverage on Accenture PLC in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $150.00 price target for the company. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target on Accenture PLC from $138.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Accenture PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $134.29.
Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 43.96% and a net margin of 9.92%. The company had revenue of $8.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.82 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.41 EPS. Accenture PLC’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year.
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In related news, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,200 shares of Accenture PLC stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.26, for a total value of $284,372.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 119,013 shares in the company, valued at $15,383,620.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Gianfranco Casati sold 6,836 shares of Accenture PLC stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.97, for a total value of $840,622.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 61,714 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,588,970.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 79,817 shares of company stock valued at $9,920,929. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Accenture PLC by 2.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 48,468,073 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $5,994,531,000 after acquiring an additional 1,088,676 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Accenture PLC by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 40,659,545 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $5,028,772,000 after purchasing an additional 1,196,578 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its stake in Accenture PLC by 2.2% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 28,501,643 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $3,525,083,000 after purchasing an additional 605,156 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Accenture PLC by 2.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 25,356,641 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $3,039,762,000 after purchasing an additional 665,860 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its stake in 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 purchasing an additional 1,738,262 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.73% of the company’s stock.
About Accenture PLC
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.
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