Strong Bookings and Headcount Growth Carrying Accenture

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Accenture ( ACN ) is a major player in technology consulting where it competes with IBM ( IBM ), HP ( HPQ ) and Deloitte Consulting.  Through a large number of skilled technology consultants, Accenture helps its clients to develop and implement customized IT strategies.

Accenture reported strong results in its recent fiscal Q2'11 earnings release, raising the outlook for the full fiscal year's revenues. The firm generated $6 billion in net revenues during the quarter, an increase of 17% over the same period last year and above guidance of between $5.6 billion and $5.8 billion. Consulting revenues grew 20% over last year to $3.5 billion for the quarter. Outsourcing revenues were strong as well, up 13% over last year to $2.5 billion.

We currently have a price estimate of $51.92 for Accenture's stock , roughly 5% below market price.

Accenture Generates Strong New Bookings

Accenture delivered strong bookings and revenue growth in fiscal Q2'11. New bookings for the quarter were $7 billion, the highest in 10 quarters. The technology consulting and systems integration segments delivered the strongest gains in bookings. Technology outsourcing and BPO bookings also grew significantly.

Accenture to Hire 64,000 in Fiscal Year 2011

Accenture's headcount stood at 204,000 at the end of fiscal year 2010. The firm plans to hire more than 64,000 people in fiscal year 2011, and had only reached a total headcount of 215,000 at the end of fiscal Q2'11. Adjusting for the firm's attrition rate of around 14%-15% over the first two quarter, Accenture's headcount could increase by 10% for the full year 2011.

Our base case forecasts suggest a 2% increase in Accenture's technology consultant headcount during 2011, to about 17,800 employees. However, a 10%  increase in technology consultants, to about 19,200 in 2011, would add about 2% to our $51.92 price estimate for Accenture's stock . But technology consulting is just one business segment for Accenture. A 10% increase in headcount across all Accenture business segments would add about 7% to our price estimate for the company's stock.

You can drag the trend line in the interactive chart above to see how different scenarios for technology consultant headcount could affect Accenture's stock value.

See our complete analysis of Accenture stock



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.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets

Referenced Stocks: ACN , HPQ , IBM

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