Global consulting firm Accenture (NYSE:
) released its fiscal first-quarter earnings results on Wednesday
after the closing bell. Accenture shares lost around four percent
in the after-hours session to trade at $67.54. During regular
trading hours, the stock fell one percent and closed the day at
Accenture shares have had a very strong year and came into
Wednesday up 30 percent in 2012. The 52-week high in the name is
at $71.79 and the stock has strong support below the $65.00
If Accenture either rallies or continues to fall in the coming
days, these two areas will be of interest to traders. The more
likely scenario, however, is that the stock continues to
consolidate under $70.00 heading into the New Year as Wednesday's
earnings report was solid, but not spectacular and the subsequent
trading activity in ACN has been mildly bearish.
The company reported net income of $698.8 million or $1.06 per
share, compared to $642.1 million or $0.96 per share, in the year
ago period. This beat analysts' consensus earnings per share
expectations of $1.04 by two cents.
Total revenue was up around 1 percent to $7.67 billion versus
7.59 billion last year. This came in better than the consensus
Wall Street revenue estimate of $7.32 billion. Revenue prior to
reimbursements rose to $7.22 billion from $7.07 billion in last
year's first quarter.
Looking ahead, Accenture provided Q2 revenue guidance that was
slightly below current expectations and also raised its earnings
outlook for fiscal 2013.
Second-quarter sales at the company are expected to be in a
range between $6.9 billion and $7.15 billion, which compares to
current consensus of $7.17 billion. The light revenue guidance is
the reason that the stock has been under pressure in late
For fiscal 2013, Accenture now sees earnings per share in a
range between $4.24 and $4.32, which is above its previous
guidance range of $4.22 to $4.30. Currently, analysts have
consensus earnings per share estimates of $4.27 on projected
revenue of $29.41 billion for Accenture in fiscal 2013.
While the company's first-quarter results were solidly above
Wall Street expectations, investors are showing concern over
Accenture's second-quarter revenue guidance. This should be
offset to some degree, however, by the company's brighter
earnings outlook for fiscal 2013.
With the stock holding above the $67.00 level in Wednesday's
after hours session, ACN looks like it will remain in a range
between a strong support level at $65.00 and its 52-week high of
$71.79. Investors will likely get more interested in the name if
it can either break out to new highs or if it pulls back to
$65.00 in the coming days.
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