Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

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 research firms have also weighed in on ACN. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on shares of Accenture PLC from $138.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Accenture PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley set a $132.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Bank of America Corporation started coverage on shares of Accenture PLC in a research report on Tuesday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $150.00 price objective for the company. Finally, 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 report on Wednesday, June 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Accenture PLC currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $132.33.

Shares of Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) opened at 134.78 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $129.89 and its 200-day moving average is $124.53. Accenture PLC has a one year low of $108.83 and a one year high of $136.95. The stock has a market capitalization of $83.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.87 and a beta of 1.11.

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

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In other Accenture PLC news, COO Johan Deblaere sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.99, for a total transaction of $614,950.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 126,417 shares in the company, valued at $15,548,026.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 40,134 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The stock was 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 owns 222,362 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $27,354,973.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 79,817 shares of company stock valued at $9,920,929. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ACN. Waldron LP boosted its stake in shares of Accenture PLC by 93.3% in the first quarter. Waldron LP now owns 5,709 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $684,000 after purchasing an additional 2,756 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Accenture PLC by 1.4% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,167 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $2,538,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD boosted its stake in shares of Accenture PLC by 8.8% in the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 51,376 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $6,158,000 after purchasing an additional 4,152 shares during the period. Parsons Capital Management Inc. RI boosted its stake in shares of Accenture PLC by 0.5% in the first quarter. Parsons Capital Management Inc. RI now owns 27,930 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $3,348,000 after purchasing an additional 141 shares during the period. Finally, Beaumont Financial Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Accenture PLC in the first quarter valued at $532,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.80% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN)

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