Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $145.00 target price on the information technology services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 8.44% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Accenture offers management consultancy, technology and outsourcing services. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry over the past year. We are positive about Accenture’s latest product additions in the analytics application space, given the increasing demand for digital solutions. Moreover, Accenture’s strategy of growing through partnerships like Apple and acquisitions like VERAX are encouraging. The strategies have enabled Accenture to enter new markets, diversify and broaden its product portfolio, and maintain its leading position. Nonetheless, Accenture’s recent announcement of creating 15K new jobs by 2020 and investment plan of $1.4 billion for employee training and opening of 10 innovation centers across the U.S. cities may dent its bottom-line results in our opinion. Furthermore, increasing competition from peers and an uncertain macroeconomic environment may deter its growth to some extent.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on ACN. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Accenture PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley set a $132.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $138.00 price objective (up previously from $132.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Cowen and Company boosted their price objective on shares of Accenture PLC from $131.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC in a research note on Monday, May 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Accenture PLC has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $131.53.

Shares of Accenture PLC (NYSE ACN) traded down 0.39% on Wednesday, hitting $133.72. The stock had a trading volume of 2,178,797 shares. The company has a market cap of $82.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.68 and a beta of 1.11. Accenture PLC has a 52-week low of $108.83 and a 52-week high of $134.97. The company has a 50-day moving average of $129.45 and a 200-day moving average of $124.30.

Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $1.52 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52. Accenture PLC had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 43.96%. The firm had revenue of $8.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.82 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.41 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Accenture PLC will post $5.90 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 40,134 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.02, for a total transaction of $4,937,284.68. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 222,362 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,354,973.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Julie Spellman Sweet sold 1,974 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $128.68, for a total transaction of $254,014.32. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 14,082 shares in the company, valued at $1,812,071.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 79,817 shares of company stock worth $9,920,929 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Accenture PLC during the second quarter valued at $533,000. Coconut Grove Bank grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 75.7% during the first quarter. Coconut Grove Bank now owns 845 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 364 shares during the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 23.4% during the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 854 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 162 shares during the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 64.2% during the first quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC now owns 918 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 359 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Manchester Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture PLC by 7.0% during the second quarter. Manchester Capital Management LLC now owns 920 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. 77.80% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Accenture PLC Company Profile

Accenture plc is a professional services company serving clients in various industries and in geographic regions, including North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The Company provides management and technology consulting services. Its segments include Communications, Media and Technology; Financial Services; Health and Public Service; Products, and Resources.

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Analyst Recommendations for Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN)

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