Wedge Capital Management L L P NC Raises Holdings in Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN)

Wedge Capital Management L L P NC lifted its holdings in shares of Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) by 0.4% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 211,190 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 819 shares during the period. Accenture accounts for about 0.9% of Wedge Capital Management L L P NC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 16th biggest holding. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC’s holdings in Accenture were worth $67,564,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Accenture by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 25,327,745 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $7,466,412,000 after buying an additional 157,577 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture by 9.1% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,279,859 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $3,619,980,000 after acquiring an additional 1,020,098 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,181,463 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,992,899,000 after acquiring an additional 323,633 shares during the period. Polen Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 8,238,617 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $2,428,662,000 after acquiring an additional 303,763 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Accenture by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 4,357,048 shares of the information technology services provider’s stock worth $1,284,413,000 after acquiring an additional 55,738 shares during the period. 73.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on ACN shares. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on Accenture from $330.00 to $385.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, September 24th. Bank of America increased their target price on Accenture from $324.00 to $379.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 10th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Accenture from $380.00 to $400.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 24th. Barclays increased their target price on Accenture from $335.00 to $384.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, September 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Accenture from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $374.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 27th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Accenture has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $356.59.

In related news, General Counsel Joel Unruch sold 1,328 shares of Accenture stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $340.79, for a total value of $452,569.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jean-Marc Ollagnier sold 581 shares of Accenture stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $334.78, for a total value of $194,507.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 27,219 shares of company stock worth $9,512,564 over the last three months. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of ACN traded up $1.67 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $362.37. The stock had a trading volume of 2,191,459 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,931,097. The firm has a market cap of $229.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.60, a P/E/G ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 1.13. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $347.66 and its 200 day simple moving average is $321.90. Accenture plc has a 12-month low of $241.73 and a 12-month high of $374.92.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, September 22nd. The information technology services provider reported $2.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.19 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $13.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.42 billion. Accenture had a return on equity of 29.50% and a net margin of 11.69%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 23.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.70 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Accenture plc will post 10.12 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 14th were given a $0.97 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 13th. This is a positive change from Accenture’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.88. This represents a $3.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.07%. Accenture’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 42.40%.

Accenture declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, September 23rd that permits the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the information technology services provider to repurchase up to 1.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

About Accenture

Accenture Plc engages in the provision of management consulting, technology, and outsourcing services. It operates through the following geographical segments: North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

See Also: Outstanding Shares

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Accenture (NYSE:ACN)

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