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BW Businessworld

Accenture Revenue Rises As Consulting Business Grows

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Accenture reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as income in its bigger business, consulting, rose after four quarters of decline, but the company forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates. Shares of the outsourcing and consulting services provider were down 3.4 per cent in extended trading.

Accenture said it expects first-quarter revenue of $7 billion-$7.3 billion. The forecast assumes a 2 per cent hit related to currency fluctuations.
Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $7.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Smaller rival Cognizant Technology last month raised its full-year forecast, saying clients in North America were investing more in IT services and software encouraged by a steady economic recovery.

Accenture's clients cut back on discretionary IT spending, delayed deals and signed fewer large contracts for most of last year. Its clients include London's Heathrow Airport, Nokia Oyj, Baker Hughes and AstraZeneca UK.

Net income rose to $727.3 million, or $1.01 per share, in the fourth quarter from $636.2 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 4 per cent to $7.09 billion. Consulting revenue grew 2 per cent to $3.8 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $6.9 billion.

The company said it authorised a $5 billion share buyback programme, taking the outstanding repurchase authority to about $7 billion.

Accenture shares closed at $75.87 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, 26 September.