Accenture PLC (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $155.00 target price on the information technology services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.40% from the stock’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 IBB and 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.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Berenberg Bank set a $140.00 price objective on Accenture PLC and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $135.00 price objective on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub cut Accenture PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $138.00 price objective (up from $131.50) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $138.00 price objective (up from $132.00) on shares of Accenture PLC in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Accenture PLC has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $135.07.

Shares of Accenture PLC (ACN) opened at 137.90 on Thursday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $130.89 and a 200-day moving average price of $124.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $85.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.42 and a beta of 1.11. Accenture PLC has a 52-week low of $109.50 and a 52-week high of $138.00.

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 (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52. Accenture PLC had a return on equity of 43.96% and a net margin of 9.92%. The company had revenue of $8.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.82 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.41 EPS. Accenture PLC’s revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Accenture PLC will post $5.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Accenture PLC news, insider Gianfranco Casati sold 6,836 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.97, for a total value of $840,622.92. Following the sale, the insider now owns 61,714 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,588,970.58. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Richard Lumb sold 2,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.26, for a total value of $284,372.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 119,013 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,383,620.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 79,817 shares of company stock worth $9,920,929. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ACN. Waldron LP raised its position in 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. WASHINGTON TRUST Co raised its position in Accenture PLC by 18.3% in the first quarter. WASHINGTON TRUST Co now owns 95,506 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $11,449,000 after purchasing an additional 14,783 shares during the period. Blue Fin Capital Inc. raised its position in Accenture PLC by 0.3% in the first quarter. Blue Fin Capital Inc. now owns 4,400 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $527,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the period. OLD National Bancorp IN raised its position in Accenture PLC by 3.6% in the first quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN now owns 17,973 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $2,154,000 after purchasing an additional 617 shares during the period. Finally, Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC raised its position in Accenture PLC by 0.9% in the first quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 2,775 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock valued at $333,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. 77.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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