Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the twenty-five brokerages that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have issued a hold recommendation, fourteen have given a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $141.84.

A number of equities analysts have commented on ACN shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Accenture PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $145.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 28th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on Accenture PLC from $138.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Accenture PLC from $132.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Bank of America Corporation started coverage on Accenture PLC in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Accenture PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th.

Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 28th. The information technology services provider reported $1.48 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $9.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.01 billion. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 42.65% and a net margin of 9.37%. Accenture PLC’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS.

The business also recently declared a Semi-Annual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 19th will be issued a dividend of $1.33 per share. This represents a yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 18th. Accenture PLC’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.90%.

In other news, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 38,589 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.03, for a total value of $5,210,672.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 179,083 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,181,577.49. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $129.26, for a total value of $284,372.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 119,013 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,383,620.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 90,525 shares of company stock valued at $12,413,497. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ACN. First Personal Financial Services raised its position in Accenture PLC by 2.4% during the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 58,475 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $7,898,000 after purchasing an additional 1,355 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its position in Accenture PLC by 28.0% during the third quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 217,026 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $29,313,000 after purchasing an additional 47,426 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its position in Accenture PLC by 31.4% during the third quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 918,473 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $124,058,000 after purchasing an additional 219,301 shares during the period. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. raised its position in Accenture PLC by 0.9% during the third quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 102,304 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $13,818,000 after purchasing an additional 882 shares during the period. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Accenture PLC during the third quarter valued at approximately $15,229,000. 77.82% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Accenture PLC

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN)

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