Accenture (ACN) Grows Q4 Profits 70%, Profit Outlook Raised

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Accenture PLC ( ACN ) posted better-than-expected results for the fiscal fourth quarter on Thursday, as the company's strong bookings showed demand for its services.

The management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $714 million or 66 cents per share, up from $420 million or 39 cents per share earned during the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the company rose 5 percent to $5.42 billion in the three month period ended August 31 from $5.15 billion last year.

On average, analysts had been looking for earnings of 63 cents per share from Accenture in the quarter on revenue of $5.31 billion.

"We're very pleased with our financial results, with our strong fourth-quarter performance demonstrating further evidence of our growth and momentum," William D. Green, Accenture's chairman and chief executive officer, said. "We managed our business well and accelerated actions to grow revenue and expand operating margin. And our strong bookings - including consulting bookings of more than $3.5 billion - show increasing demand for our services. We generated significant free cash flow, and our balance sheet remains exceptionally strong."

Looking forward, Accenture sees first-quarter sales of $5.6 billion to $5.8 billion, compared to the Street's view of $5.62 billion.

For the full-year 2011, the company sees earnings in the range of $3.00 to $3.08 per share, an increase from the guidance range of 12-15% give in the past. The consensus is $2.92.

The company also raised its semi-annual dividend to 45 cents.

Shares of Accenture are up 2.35 percent to $43.49 in aftermarket movement on Thursday.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



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