Royal Bank of Canada Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Accenture (NYSE:ACN)

Royal Bank of Canada restated their buy rating on shares of Accenture (NYSE:ACN) in a report released on Monday, AnalystRatings.com reports. The firm currently has a $228.00 target price on the information technology services provider’s stock.

ACN has been the subject of several other reports. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $215.00 price objective on Accenture and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of Accenture from $216.00 to $227.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, December 18th. Bank of America downgraded shares of Accenture from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $205.00 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, January 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Robert W. Baird upped their target price on shares of Accenture from $212.00 to $214.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, December 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $220.00 target price on shares of Accenture in a report on Friday, December 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $214.82.

NYSE:ACN opened at $209.41 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17, a current ratio of 1.39 and a quick ratio of 1.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $132.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.59 and a beta of 1.05. Accenture has a one year low of $147.44 and a one year high of $213.25. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $207.62 and a 200-day moving average price of $196.26.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 19th. The information technology services provider reported $2.09 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.99 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $11.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.15 billion. Accenture had a return on equity of 33.35% and a net margin of 11.06%. Accenture’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.96 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Accenture will post 7.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a semi-annual dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 1.5%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 15th. Accenture’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.48%.

In other Accenture news, insider Ellyn Shook sold 4,688 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.65, for a total transaction of $860,951.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 27,271 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,008,319.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ACN. Smith Asset Management Group LP lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 904.5% in the 2nd quarter. Smith Asset Management Group LP now owns 55,428 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $10,241,000 after acquiring an additional 49,910 shares during the last quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 124.1% in the 2nd quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 14,735 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $2,723,000 after acquiring an additional 8,161 shares during the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 6,020 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,112,000 after acquiring an additional 255 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 40.7% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 47,812 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $8,834,000 after acquiring an additional 13,819 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Hawaii lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture by 5.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 1,906 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $352,000 after acquiring an additional 98 shares during the last quarter. 73.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Accenture

Accenture plc provides consulting, technology, and outsourcing services in Ireland and internationally. Its Communications, Media & Technology segment provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation, develop industry-specific solutions, and enhance efficiencies and business results for communications, media, high tech, software, and platform companies.

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