Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) beat market expectations for earnings in the fourth quarter of 2019 while revenue came in line with estimates. Shares were down 0.46% in premarket hours on Thursday.
Total revenues of $11.1 billion were up 5% in US dollars and 7.2% in local currency compared to the same period last year and matched analysts’ expectations.
Net income attributable to Accenture was $1.13 billion compared to $1.03 billion last year. Diluted EPS rose 10% year-over-year to $1.74, beating forecasts of $1.71, driven by higher revenue and operating results, a lower effective tax rate and a lower share count.
During the quarter, Consulting revenues grew 5% in US dollars and 7% in local currency to $6.19 billion year-over-year. Outsourcing revenues rose 6% in US dollars and 8% in local currency to $4.87 billion. New bookings amounted to $12.9 billion, with new bookings of $6.1 billion in Consulting and $6.8 billion in Outsourcing.
Accenture posted revenue increases both in US dollars and in local currency across all its operating groups during the quarter. By geography, revenues increased in US dollars and in local currency in North America and Growth Markets. In Europe, revenues remained flat in US dollars but grew 4% in local currency.
For the first quarter of 2020, Accenture expects revenue to come in a range of $10.9 billion to $11.2 billion, up 5-8% in local currency. For fiscal year 2020, Accenture expects revenue growth of 5-8% in local currency. Diluted EPS is expected to grow 4-7% to a range of $7.62 to $7.84.
Accenture is moving from a semi-annual to a quarterly schedule for dividend payments from fiscal 2020. The company declared its first quarterly cash dividend of $0.80 per share, payable on Nov. 15, 2019.
Days services outstanding, or DSOs, were 40 days at August 31, 2019, compared with 39 days at August 31, 2018. Total cash balance at August 31, 2019 was $6.1 billion, compared with $5.1 billion at August 31, 2018.
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