UPDATE: Accenture Issues Weak Forecast, Shares Drop
Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN) issued a weak forecast for the first quarter.
The Dublin, Ireland-based company posted quarterly net income of $760.2 million, or $1.08 per share, compared to $727.3 million, or $1.01 per share, in the year-ago period.
Its net revenue climbed to $7.78 billion versus $7.09 billion. The company had expected revenue of $7.45 billion to $7.70 billion. However, analysts were expecting a profit of $1.10 per share on revenue of $7.62 billion.
Consulting revenue climbed 5.6% to $4.02 billion in the quarter, while outsourcing net revenue gained 15% to $3.8 billion.
Revenue in Americas surged to $3.77 billion in the quarter from $3.46 billion, while revenue in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) climbed to $3.00 billion from $2.64 billion. Revenue in Asia Pacific gained to $1.01 billion from $982 million.
The company lifted its semi-annual dividend by 10% to $1.02 per share.
Gross margin narrowed to 31.7% from 33.2%, while operating income surged to $1.08 billion from $984 million.
Total cash balance at Aug. 31, 2014 was $4.9 billion, down from $5.6 billion at Aug. 31, 2013.
Utilization for the quarter was 88% versus 88% in the year-ago quarter, while attrition was 15% versus 12% in the year-ago quarter.
New bookings for the quarter were $8.3 billion.
Pierre Nanterme, Accenture's chairman and CEO said, “Our growth strategy is clearly resonating with the needs of our clients, which are the world's leading companies. We are investing to further strengthen our industry expertise as well as to differentiate our capabilities—including in strategy, digital, technology, and operations. We have momentum in our business, and I am confident in our ability to continue driving sustainable, profitable growth and delivering value for our shareholders.”
Accenture projects first-quarter sales of $7.55 billion to $7.80 billion. Analysts are expecting revenue of $7.81 billion.
For the full fiscal year, it projects earnings of $4.74 to $4.88 per share on revenue growth of four to seven percent. As noted in Accenture's official press release and highlighted by CFO David Rowland on the earnings conference call, the FY15 guidance assumes a foreign-exchange impact of about negative two percent compared to FY14. This effect should be considered when comparing against analyst estimates.
Accenture shares fell 1.55% to $77.99 in pre-market trading.
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