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Accenture (ACN)

Q2 2013 Earnings Call

March 28, 2013 8:00 am ET


KC McClure

Pierre Nanterme - Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Pamela J. Craig - Chief Financial Officer


Tien-Tsin T. Huang - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Rod Bourgeois - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Darrin D. Peller - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Bryan Keane - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Julio C. Quinteros - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Kathryn L. Huberty - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Ashwin Shirvaikar - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

David Togut - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Accenture's Second Quarter Fiscal 2013 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] And as a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Ms. KC McClure, Managing Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

KC McClure

Thank you, Katie. And thanks, everyone, for joining us today on our Second Quarter Fiscal 2013 Earnings Announcement. As Katie just mentioned, I'm KC McClure, Managing Director of Investor Relations. With me today are Pierre Nanterme, our Chief Executive Officer; and Pamela Craig, our Chief Financial Officer.

We hope you've had an opportunity to review the news release we issued a short time ago. Let me quickly outline the agenda for today's call: Pierre will begin with an overview of our results. Pam will then take you through the financial details, including the income statement and balance sheet, along with some key operational metrics for the second quarter. Pierre will then provide a brief update on our market positioning. Pam will then provide our business outlook for the third quarter and full fiscal year 2013. And then we will take your questions before Pierre provides a wrap-up at the end of the call. As a reminder, when we discuss revenues during today's call, we're talking about revenues before reimbursements or net revenues.

Some of the matters we will discuss in this call are forward-looking, including the business outlook. You should keep in mind that these forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements and that such statements are not a guarantee of our future performance. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions and those factors set forth in today's news release and discussed under the Risk Factors section of our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other SEC filings.

During our call today, we will reference certain non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe provide useful information for investors. We include reconciliations of those measures, where appropriate, to GAAP in our news release or in the Investor Relations section of our website at

As always, Accenture assumes no obligation to update the information presented on this conference call.

Now let me turn the call over to Pierre.

Pierre Nanterme

Thank you, KC. And thanks, everyone, for joining us today.

We are pleased with our results for the second quarter, which were in line with our expectations. We continue to drive profitable growth and are investing in differentiated services that are clearly resonating with the needs of our clients.

Here are a few highlights. We delivered very strong new bookings of $9.1 billion, including record consulting bookings of $4.4 billion. Revenues were $7.1 billion, up 4% in local currency, including strong local currency revenue growth in outsourcing of 10%. And we were particularly pleased with our double-digit revenue growth in both Financial Services and Health & Public Service.

We delivered earnings per share of $1.65 on a GAAP basis, including the benefit of 2 items that Pam will talk about when she takes you through the numbers. Absent the benefit of these items, earnings per share were $1. We increased operating income and expanded operating margin on those to GAAP and adjusted bases.

We continue to have a very strong balance sheet, ending the quarter with a cash balance of $5.6 billion. And we continue to return cash to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. Today, we announced a semi-annual cash dividends of $0.81 per share, which will bring total dividend payments for the year to $1.62 per share, a 20% increase over last year.

So with the first half of the year behind us, I feel good about where we are. And we remain well positioned to meet our outlook for the fiscal year.

Now let me hand over to Pam, who will review the numbers in greater detail. Pam, over to you.

Pamela J. Craig

Thank you, Pierre. And thanks to all of you for listening today. Let me tell you more about Accenture's fiscal '13 second quarter financial results.

Revenue growth was driven by year-over-year strength in 3 of our operating groups, in outsourcing and geographically in the Americas. Profitability in the underlying business was excellent, and we delivered additional margin expansion this quarter. New bookings of over $9 billion reflects strong demand for future business. So delivery was very solid and we are well-positioned for the future.

Now let's go through the numbers. Unless I state otherwise, all figures are U.S. GAAP, except the items that are not part of the financial statements or that are calculations.

New bookings for the quarter were $9.1 billion, our second-highest level after the record in Q4 last year. Our bookings reflected a flat foreign exchange impact compared with new bookings in the second quarter last year. Consulting bookings were $4.4 billion, and outsourcing bookings were $4.7 billion. Let me give you some bookings details, starting with those record consulting bookings.

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