Accenture Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fifth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Growth

Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) reported its results for the first quarter. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.

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Accenture plc Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the management services company rose to $712 million (96 cents per share) vs. $606 million (81 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 18% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 17.1% to $7.1 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ACN beat the mean analyst estimate of 94 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $6.85 billion.

Quoting Management: Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased with our strong performance in the first quarter. We generated our highest quarterly revenues ever, with double-digit local-currency growth in all five operating groups and all three geographic regions. We grew EPS by 19 percent, expanded operating margin, delivered strong bookings and continue to have a very strong balance sheet. Our excellent results in the first quarter give us confidence that we are executing a growth strategy that resonates with the needs of our clients in the current environment. We remain focused on delivering profitable growth through a relentless focus on industry and technology differentiation and on accelerated geographic expansion in our priority emerging markets.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 18.1%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 23% from the year earlier quarter.

Last quarter marked the fifth straight quarter that the company saw shrinking gross margins as gross margin fell 0.3 percentage point to 29.7% from the year earlier quarter. Over that time, margins have contracted on average 0.7 percentage point per quarter on a year-over-year basis.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 37.4% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 28%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 2 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, by 4 cents in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, and by 4 cents in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next quarter results are lower than they have been. Over the past sixty days, the average estimate for second quarter has fallen from 87 cents per share to 86 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $3.78 a share to $3.83 over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: Intl. Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL), Genpact Limited (NYSE:G), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Towers Watson & Co (NYSE:TW), Infosys Tech. Ltd. (NASDAQ:INFY), Wipro Limited (NYSE:WIT), Ariba, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARBA), and Accenture Plc (XET).

Stock Performance: Shares of ACN were up 0.2% from the previous close.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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