JustInvest LLC lifted its stake in Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) by 30.5% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 11,509 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,693 shares during the period. JustInvest LLC’s holdings in Accenture were worth $3,179,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in ACN. Front Row Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Accenture by 6.4% in the first quarter. Front Row Advisors LLC now owns 599 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $165,000 after purchasing an additional 36 shares in the last quarter. Slow Capital Inc. increased its holdings in Accenture by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Slow Capital Inc. now owns 8,018 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,094,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC grew its stake in Accenture by 0.4% in the first quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 10,367 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $3,002,000 after acquiring an additional 40 shares during the period. Citizens & Northern Corp grew its stake in Accenture by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Citizens & Northern Corp now owns 5,847 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,527,000 after acquiring an additional 43 shares during the period. Finally, Syntal Capital Partners LLC grew its stake in Accenture by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Syntal Capital Partners LLC now owns 6,168 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $1,611,000 after acquiring an additional 43 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.99% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on ACN shares. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Accenture in a research note on Sunday, April 11th. Susquehanna Bancshares raised their price objective on Accenture from $290.00 to $325.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, March 19th. Bank of America raised Accenture from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $300.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 24th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their target price on Accenture from $278.00 to $301.00 in a research report on Friday, March 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Accenture from $297.00 to $305.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 23rd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $276.05.
Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, March 17th. The information technology services provider reported $2.03 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.90 by $0.13. Accenture had a return on equity of 29.32% and a net margin of 11.74%. The business had revenue of $12.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.83 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.91 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Accenture plc will post 8.22 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 15th will be issued a $0.88 dividend. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, April 14th. Accenture’s payout ratio is currently 47.18%.
In other news, CAO Richard P. Clark sold 3,247 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $248.63, for a total value of $807,301.61. Also, insider James O. Etheredge sold 2,428 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $248.54, for a total value of $603,455.12. Insiders sold a total of 47,598 shares of company stock valued at $12,957,921 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.
Accenture plc, a professional services company, provides strategy and consulting, interactive, and technology and operations services worldwide. The company also provides outsourcing services. It serves communications, media, high tech, software, and platform companies; banking, capital market, and insurance industries; and consumer goods, retail, travel services, industrial, and life science industries, as well as clients in health, public service, chemicals and natural resources, energy, and utilities sectors.
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