Accenture stock target increased, Buy rating kept on solid results

EditorNatashya Angelica
Published 20/06/2024, 20:16
© Reuters

On Thursday, Citi updated its stance on Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), increasing the price target to $350 from the previous $340 while maintaining a Buy rating on the stock. The firm's analyst noted that despite low investor expectations, Accenture delivered solid results that exceeded anticipations.

The only shortfall against in-quarter expectations was attributed to foreign exchange impacts, while the forecast for fiscal year 2024 remained steady at the constant currency midpoint, contrary to the consensus expectation of a downward revision.

The report highlighted that the demand environment for Accenture's services has not significantly changed, with persistent pressures on discretionary spending. However, strong demand for large-scale digital core transformations has continued to drive bookings.

Moreover, momentum in Generation AI, or GenAI, has been notable, with sequential bookings growth and approximately $500 million in Gen-AI-related revenue recognized year-to-date.

Accenture is often viewed as an indicator for the IT Services sector, and the results may suggest that the sentiment in this area has reached a turning point. The company's outlook for 2%-6% constant currency growth in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2024 is seen as a positive sign, providing an improving exit rate. The success in securing large deals is also expected to contribute to visibility into an accelerating growth rate for fiscal year 2025.

In other recent news, Accenture's third-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2024 slightly missed expectations, with an adjusted EPS of $3.13 and revenue falling 1 percentage point below estimates.

Despite this, Accenture reported a significant 26% year-over-year increase in new bookings and anticipates revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024 to be between $16.05 billion and $16.65 billion. The company also revised its revenue growth projections for the full fiscal year 2024 to a range of 1.5% to 2.5%, slightly surpassing consensus forecasts.

Accenture also made headlines with a strategic partnership with defense technology firm L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) to advance digital transformation. Analysts from Evercore ISI, Piper Sandler, Stifel, and Deutsche Bank have adjusted their price targets for Accenture, citing factors such as earnings miss, challenging demand environment, and broader economic uncertainties.

Finally, Accenture has seen significant leadership changes recently, with new appointments such as Angie Park as the new Chief Financial Officer and Mauro Macchi as the Chief Executive Officer for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company has also been active in business developments, including the acquisition of Teamexpat, a specialist in embedded software for high-tech industries.

InvestingPro Insights

Following Citi's optimistic update on Accenture (NYSE:ACN), InvestingPro data reflects a robust financial profile for the company. With a market capitalization of $192.7 billion and a P/E ratio standing at 27.36, Accenture showcases its significant presence in the IT Services industry.

The company's ability to raise its dividend for 4 consecutive years, as noted in InvestingPro Tips, underlines a commitment to shareholder value, further solidified by a 20-year history of maintained dividend payments. Moreover, the company's stock is characterized by low price volatility, which might appeal to investors looking for stability in their portfolio.

However, it is worth noting that the stock is trading at a high P/E ratio relative to near-term earnings growth, with a PEG ratio of 16.02, suggesting investors are paying a premium for future growth. The price has declined by 24.7% over the last three months, which could indicate a potential buying opportunity for long-term investors, especially considering Accenture's solid revenue growth of 2.26% over the last twelve months and a gross profit margin of 32.58%.

For those seeking deeper analysis and more tips, there are additional InvestingPro Tips available, which could provide further insights into Accenture's performance and potential. Interested readers can use the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, accessing exclusive content that could aid in making more 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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