Accenture shares hold rating, price target cut on latest earnings report

EditorNatashya Angelica
Published 21/06/2024, 20:04
© Reuters

Friday - TD Cowen has adjusted its outlook on Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), slightly lowering the price target to $293 from the previous $294, while maintaining a Hold rating on the company's shares.

The adjustment follows Accenture's latest earnings report, which revealed a performance that surpassed concerns, with bookings exceeding expectations particularly in Management Services (MS). However, the firm noted that contract durations are becoming longer and organic growth trends remain subdued.

The analyst from TD Cowen highlighted that Accenture's stock response was positive, likely due to investor positioning rather than fundamental changes. The report also mentioned that while early forecasts for fiscal year 2025 were not provided, current market estimates might be overly optimistic. The market is anticipated to watch for potential revisions and signs of recovery in the company's performance.

Accenture's earnings showcased mixed demand, but the upside in bookings, especially in Management Services, caught the attention of investors. This strength in bookings was a key factor in the stock's solid performance post-earnings announcement. Despite this, the longer duration of contracts and muted organic growth indicators suggest a cautious outlook.

The analyst's commentary pointed out that while Accenture managed to deliver a robust earnings report, the market's expectations for the future might need to be tempered. The new price target of $293 reflects a marginal decrease from the previous target, indicating a nuanced view of the company's valuation.

In summary, TD Cowen's latest analysis on Accenture provides investors with a measured perspective on the company's recent performance and future expectations. The Hold rating remains unchanged, suggesting that while the firm acknowledges the positive aspects of the recent earnings report, it also recognizes underlying challenges that may affect Accenture's growth trajectory.

In other recent news, Accenture's third-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2024 slightly missed expectations, with an adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.13. The company's revenue for the quarter also fell short by 1 percentage point.

Despite these results, Accenture reported a significant 26% year-over-year increase in new bookings, indicating a healthy pipeline of large transformational deals. The company's fourth-quarter revenue is anticipated to be between $16.05 billion and $16.65 billion. Accenture has also adjusted its EPS guidance to a range of $11.85 to $12.00.

Recently, Accenture projected its annual revenue growth to be between 1.5% and 2.5%, and announced a strategic partnership with L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX). Analyst firms Evercore ISI, Piper Sandler, and Stifel have adjusted their price targets for Accenture, while Deutsche Bank maintained its price target. Accenture has also seen significant leadership changes and business developments.

InvestingPro Insights

TD Cowen's recent report on Accenture has sparked interest in the company's financial health and future prospects. In line with this, InvestingPro data and tips offer additional insights. Accenture's market cap stands at a robust $191.77 billion, reflecting its significant presence in the industry.

Despite concerns over organic growth trends, the company's P/E ratio is at 25.81, which, while high, may be justified by its position as a prominent player in the IT Services industry, as noted by one of the InvestingPro Tips.

Moreover, the company's dividend yield is 1.69%, with a noteworthy dividend growth of 15.18% in the last twelve months as of Q2 2024, underscoring Accenture's commitment to returning value to shareholders, having raised its dividend for four consecutive years and maintained dividend payments for 20 consecutive years.

Investors considering Accenture's stock should be aware that analysts have revised their earnings downwards for the upcoming period, which might be a factor in the cautious outlook presented by TD Cowen. Moreover, the company trades at a high Price / Book multiple of 7.07, which could suggest that the stock is valued richly relative to its book value.

For those looking to delve deeper into Accenture's investment potential, InvestingPro offers additional tips, including an analysis of the company's low price volatility and its ability to cover interest payments with cash flows. To access these insights and more, investors are invited to use the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription. With 11 more InvestingPro Tips available, there's a wealth of knowledge to be uncovered for informed investment decisions.

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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