Accenture’s Q4 Results Beat View, but Guidance Disappoints (ACN)

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Technology and human resources consulting firm Accenture Plc ( ACN ) late Thursday posted fourth quarter earnings results that beat analyst expectations, but its 2012 guidance was lower than anticipated, sending its shares lower in aftermarket trading.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company reported fourth quarter net income of $642.1 million, or 96 cents per share, compared with $534.7 million, or 81 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 17% from last year to $7.59 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 94 cents per share on lower revenue of $7 billion.

Looking ahead, the company said it now expects full-year 2012 earnings to range from $3.76 to $3.84 per share, down from $3.80 to $3.88 previously. ACN said the lowered outlook was due to negative effects from the stronger dollar. Analysts are looking for 2012 earnings of $3.83 per share.

Accenture shares fell $1.43, or -2.6%, in premarket trading Friday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Accenture ( ACN ) have a 2.41% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $56.13. The stock has technical support in the $52-$54 price area. If the stock can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the all-time high levels of $60-$64 a share.

Accenture Plc ( ACN ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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

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