Accenture’s Profit, Guidance Beat View; Dividend Boosted 50%; Buyback Announced (ACN)

Consulting and outsourcing company Accenture Plc (ACN) late Tuesday posted better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings and offered an optimistic forecast that helped send its shares higher in aftermarket trading.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $611.9 million, or 91 cents per share, compared with $445.5 million, or 66 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 23% from last year to $6.69 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 89 cents per share, on lower revenue of $6.62 billion.

Looking ahead, the company forecast first quarter revenue to range from $6.8 to $7 billion, which would top analyst expectations of $6.7 billion. For the full year, Accenture said it expects earnings of $3.80 to $3.88 per share, while analysts are looking for $3.76 per share for the year.

The company also announced a 50% boost to its semi-annual dividend payout, from 45 cents to 67.5 cents per share. Additionally, ACN said it plans to buy back an additional $5 billion of its own stock.

Accenture shares rose $1.87, or +3.5%, in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Accenture (ACN) have a 2.52% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $53.65. The stock has technical support in the $47-$50 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $55-$58 price levels.

Accenture Plc (ACN) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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