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UPDATE: Accenture Beats Q1 Estimates, Shares Rise

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Shares of Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) gained more than 1.5% in pre-market trading after the company reported upbeat results for the fiscal first quarter. The company lifted its full-year sales growth forecast, but cut its earnings outlook.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company posted quarterly earnings of $882.2 million, or $1.29 per share, compared to $800.9 million, or $1.15 per share, in the year-ago period.

Its revenue gained 7% to $7.9 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.20 per share on revenue of $7.69 billion.

Net revenue from North America gained to $3.44 billion from $3.09 billion, while revenue from Europe increased to $2.91 billion from $2.76 billion.

Operating income climbed 9% to $1.19 billion, while operating margin rose 20 basis points to 15.0%.

Gross margin narrowed to 32.2% from 33.3%, while selling, general and administrative expenses slipped to $1.35 billion from $1.38 billion.

New bookings were $7.7 billion for the quarter. During the quarter, Accenture repurchased 8.4 million shares for a total of $670 million.

At Nov. 30, 2014, Accenture's total cash balance was $4.5 billion, versus $4.9 billion at Aug. 31, 2014.

Pierre Nanterme, Accenture's chairman and CEO, said, “Our very strong results demonstrate that we are executing a growth strategy that is highly relevant for our clients. We continue to invest in capabilities, solutions and talent to further differentiate Accenture in the marketplace and improve our competitiveness. We remain very well-positioned to continue gaining market share and driving profitable growth.”

For fiscal 2015, Accenture now expects earnings of $4.66 to $4.80 per share on sales growth of 5% to 8%. The company had earlier expected earnings of $4.74 to $4.88 per share on sales growth of 4% to 7%.

Accenture shares rose 1.53% to $86.52 in pre-market trading.

Posted-In: profitEarnings News Guidance

 

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