Consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture plc (ACN) late Thursday posted better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings, offered an optimistic current-year forecast, and lifted its semi-annual dividend payout by 20%.
The Dublin, Ireland-based company reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $578 million, or 88 cents per share, compared with $612 million, or 91 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue rose 2% from last year to $6.84 billion.
On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 88 cents per share, on lower revenue of $675 million.
Looking ahead, ACN forecast 2013 earnings to range from $4.22 to $4.30 per share, while analysts are looking for $4.17 per share for the current fiscal year.
In another announcement, the company’s board of directors approved a 20% raise to its semi-annual dividend payout. The new dividend of 81 cents per share, up from 67.5 cents previously, will be paid on Nov. 15 with an ex-dividend date of Oct. 10.
Accenture shares rose $2.51, or +3.8%, in premarket trading Friday.
The Bottom Line
Shares of Accenture (ACN) will now have a 2.48% dividend yield, based on the higher dividend payout and last night’s closing stock price of $65.38. The stock has technical support in the $61-$62 price area. The shares are trading near all-time highs.
Accenture plc (ACN) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.