Accenture’s Q4 Results Beat View, but Guidance Disappoints (ACN)

Technology and human resources consulting firm Accenture Plc (ACN) late Thursday posted fourth quarter earnings results that beat analyst expectations, but its 2012 guidance was lower than anticipated, sending its shares lower in aftermarket trading.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company reported fourth quarter net income of $642.1 million, or 96 cents per share, compared with $534.7 million, or 81 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 17% from last year to $7.59 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 94 cents per share on lower revenue of $7 billion.

Looking ahead, the company said it now expects full-year 2012 earnings to range from $3.76 to $3.84 per share, down from $3.80 to $3.88 previously. ACN said the lowered outlook was due to negative effects from the stronger dollar. Analysts are looking for 2012 earnings of $3.83 per share.

Accenture shares fell $1.43, or -2.6%, in premarket trading Friday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Accenture (ACN) have a 2.41% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $56.13. The stock has technical support in the $52-$54 price area. If the stock can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the all-time high levels of $60-$64 a share.

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