Hartwell J M Limited Partnership cut its stake in shares of Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) by 30.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 3,500 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock after selling 1,500 shares during the quarter. Hartwell J M Limited Partnership’s holdings in Accenture were worth $616,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC boosted its holdings in Accenture by 13.3% in the fourth quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 14,162 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,997,000 after purchasing an additional 1,661 shares during the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Accenture in the fourth quarter valued at $1,108,000. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. raised its position in shares of Accenture by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. now owns 6,699 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $945,000 after acquiring an additional 864 shares during the period. Gillespie Robinson & Grimm Inc. raised its position in shares of Accenture by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Gillespie Robinson & Grimm Inc. now owns 169,216 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $23,861,000 after acquiring an additional 4,203 shares during the period. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP raised its position in shares of Accenture by 78.8% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 328,983 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $46,390,000 after acquiring an additional 145,025 shares during the period. 70.14% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Credit Suisse Group set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Accenture and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 9th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Accenture to $185.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Accenture in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of Accenture in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks upped their price objective on shares of Accenture to $180.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $183.58.
Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.16. Accenture had a net margin of 10.52% and a return on equity of 38.57%. The firm had revenue of $10.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.30 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.58 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Accenture Plc will post 7.3 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, April 11th will be given a dividend of $1.46 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 10th. This represents a dividend yield of 1.66%. Accenture’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.32%.
In other Accenture news, insider Ellyn Shook sold 1,172 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total value of $181,660.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 36,337 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,632,235. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO Johan Deblaere sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.80, for a total transaction of $527,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 74,937 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,173,924.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 11,398 shares of company stock valued at $1,870,285. Insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.
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Accenture plc provides consulting, technology, and outsourcing services in Ireland and internationally. Its Communications, Media & Technology segment provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation, develop industry-specific solutions, and enhance efficiencies and business results for communications, media, high tech, software, and platform companies.
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