Accenture share maintains hold rating on Q3 earnings report

EditorNatashya Angelica
Published 20/06/2024, 18:36
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On Thursday, Deutsche Bank reiterated a Hold rating on shares of Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), with a steady price target of $295.00. The firm's analysis followed Accenture's third-quarter 2024 earnings report, which disclosed revenues of $16.467 billion, marking a slight year-over-year decline of 0.6%, and earnings per share (EPS) of $3.13, which were marginally below expectations.

The report highlighted a year-over-year organic revenue contraction of 1.5%, which is below the performance of peers in the industry.

Accenture's IT Services segment has experienced a downturn due to weaker demand, affecting discretionary deal bookings. Management has not observed any changes in the overall demand environment.

Despite ongoing discussions among investors regarding the potential influence of Generation AI (GenAI) on Accenture's financial outcomes, the company reported approximately $900 million in GenAI bookings for the quarter. This figure, which represents about 4% of total quarterly bookings, fell short of the anticipated $1 billion. The firm noted that GenAI projects are still in an experimental stage and anticipates that pricing pressures will persist due to the integration of GenAI technologies.

Looking ahead, Accenture has provided guidance for fourth-quarter 2024 revenue growth, which aligns with Deutsche Bank's projections of approximately 2-6% in constant currency terms. In response to the latest financial data and future guidance, Deutsche Bank has adjusted its forecasts for Accenture.

The firm has reduced its full-year 2024 EPS estimate by $0.13 to $11.95 and has also lowered its projections for the fiscal years 2025 and 2026 by $0.12 and $0.14 respectively, to $12.97 and $14.22. The Hold rating reflects the firm's current assessment of Accenture's stock amid the reported financial results and market conditions.

In other recent news, Accenture experienced a slight miss in its third-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2024, with adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.13 falling short of Evercore ISI and consensus estimates. This was accompanied by a minor 1% dip in revenue, attributed to weak spending in discretionary IT services.

Despite this, Accenture reported a 26% year-over-year increase in new bookings, indicating a healthy pipeline of large transformational deals expected to bolster revenue growth for fiscal year 2025.

Evercore ISI and Piper Sandler have adjusted their price targets for Accenture, citing challenging demand environments and broader economic uncertainties. Stifel also revised the company's price target, anticipating potential revenue headwinds. Still, Accenture's ongoing collaboration with defense technology firm L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX), aimed at advancing L3Harris's digital overhaul, showcases its expertise in digital technologies.

Accenture's leadership has also seen significant changes, including the appointment of Angie Park as the new Chief Financial Officer and Mauro Macchi as the Chief Executive Officer for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Furthermore, Accenture projects its annual revenue growth to be between 1.5% and 2.5%, surpassing market expectations, reflecting the company's confidence in its business strategy amid increased adoption of artificial intelligence technologies. These are the recent developments within Accenture.

InvestingPro Insights

Accenture's financial landscape presents a mix of stability and caution for investors, according to recent data from InvestingPro. The company's market capitalization stands at a robust $191.2 billion, reflecting its significant presence in the IT Services industry. With a P/E ratio of 27.4, the company trades at a premium, suggesting that investors are willing to pay a higher price for its earnings.

This is further evidenced by a high Price/Book ratio of 7.09, which indicates that the market values the company's assets generously relative to its book value. Despite a slight revenue growth of 2.26% over the last twelve months as of Q2 2024, the company has experienced a marginal quarterly revenue decline of 0.09%.

InvestingPro Tips highlight that Accenture has demonstrated a commitment to shareholder returns, having raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and maintained payments for 20 consecutive years. Moreover, the company's cash flows can sufficiently cover interest payments, showcasing financial prudence. Nevertheless, analysts have revised their earnings downwards for the upcoming period, and the stock is trading at a high P/E ratio relative to near-term earnings growth, which could be a signal for investors to exercise caution.

For a deeper dive into Accenture's performance and additional strategic insights, investors can explore further InvestingPro Tips on Investing.com. There are 13 additional tips available, offering a comprehensive analysis of the company's financial health and market position. To gain full access to these insights, use the promo code PRONEWS24 to receive an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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