Accenture (ACN) Rises But Trails Market: What Investors Should Know

Accenture (ACN) closed the latest trading day at $303.71, indicating a +1.12% change from the previous session's end. The stock trailed the S&P 500, which registered a daily gain of 1.26%. At the same time, the Dow added 1.18%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.99%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the consulting company had lost 9.12% over the past month. This has lagged the Business Services sector's loss of 4.83% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.68% in that time.

Investors will be eagerly watching for the performance of Accenture in its upcoming earnings disclosure. On that day, Accenture is projected to report earnings of $3.14 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 1.57%. At the same time, our most recent consensus estimate is projecting a revenue of $16.57 billion, reflecting a 0.01% rise from the equivalent quarter last year.

Looking at the full year, the Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $12.09 per share and revenue of $65.31 billion. These totals would mark changes of +3.6% and +1.87%, respectively, from last year.

Investors should also pay attention to any latest changes in analyst estimates for Accenture. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Our research reveals that these estimate alterations are directly linked with the stock price performance in the near future. To exploit this, we've formed the Zacks Rank, a quantitative model that includes these estimate changes and presents a viable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), possesses a remarkable history of outdoing, externally audited, with #1 stocks returning an average annual gain of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has shifted 0.02% downward. Accenture currently has a Zacks Rank of #4 (Sell).

Looking at valuation, Accenture is presently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 24.83. This denotes a premium relative to the industry's average Forward P/E of 24.03.

Also, we should mention that ACN has a PEG ratio of 2.85. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. As of the close of trade yesterday, the Consulting Services industry held an average PEG ratio of 1.4.

The Consulting Services industry is part of the Business Services sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 65, which puts it in the top 26% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks.com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.

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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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