Accenture Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profits Climb By Double Figures Again

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) reported higher profit for the fourth quarter as revenue showed growth. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.

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Accenture Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Accenture plc rose to $611.9 million (91 cents per share) vs. $445.5 million (66 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 37.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 23% to $7.17 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: ACN beat the mean analyst estimate of 89 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $6.5 billion.

Quoting Management: Accenture’s Board of Directors has declared a semi-annual cash dividend of 67.5 cents per share, an increase of 22.5 cents per share, or 50 percent, over its previous semi-annual dividend, declared in March. The Board also approved $5 billion in additional share repurchase authority. Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chief executive officer, said, “Our excellent results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal 2011 reflect the continued momentum in our business as we execute our growth strategy. We hit the top end of our range for both revenues and EPS and are particularly pleased with the growth across all dimensions of our business. In addition, we generated free cash flow of $3 billion for the year, which enabled us to return more than $2.8 billion to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases and still close the year with an exceptionally strong balance sheet.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 28% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 25.8%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 4 cents in the third quarter, by 4 cents in the second quarter, and by 6 cents in the first quarter.

Gross margin shrank 0.7 percentage point to 30.9%. The contraction appeared to be driven by increased costs, which rose 24.3% from the year earlier quarter while revenue rose 23%.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 20.6% to $7.2 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 17.3% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 12.7% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

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).

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(Source: Xignite Financials)