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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Accenture's shares to reach $130 in medium term

I remain upbeat about the shares of Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm. The company’s financials for its fiscal 2016 third quarter were solid. Net revenues increased 8.6% y-o-y to $8.434 bn and surpassed both consensus estimate of $8.246 bn and management’s guided range of $8.10-8.35 bn. In local currency terms, revenues increased 10%. The improvement was primarily aided by a 12% increase in Consulting revenues to $4.62 bn, while Outsourcing revenues rose 4% to $3.81 bn. Geographically, revenues from the North Americas and Europe increased 10% and 11%, respectively. Revenues from other markets (Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey) were flat on a y-o-y basis. Accenture also reported new bookings of $9.1 bn during the quarter. Operating income grew 15.9% to $1.31 bn, and operating margin expanded 90 basis points to 15.5%. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.41 were a penny ahead of analysts’ average projection.

Accenture exited the quarter with total cash balance of $3.50 bn and long-term debt of $26.8 mn. In FQ3, the company generated operating cash flow of $1.59 bn and repurchased 4.3 mn shares for $478 mn. Besides, Accenture declared a semi-annual cash dividend of $1.10 per share, which offers annualized dividend yield of 1.9%.

Accenture improved its guidance for full fiscal year 2016. Net revenue growth is now expected to be in the range of 9.5-10.5% in local currency, compared with the previous growth projection of 8-10%. FY2016 adjusted EPS forecast was raised to $5.29-5.33 from $5.21-5.32.

In July, Accenture completed the acquisition of majority control in IMJ Corporation, a Japanese full-service digital agency. The deal should help Accenture to provide end-to-end digital marketing services, bringing a deeper and broader set of digital solutions to clients. Considering the growing need for digital marketing, we expect Accenture’s investment in digital and marketing capabilities to boost its long-term growth. This will also help the company in effectively competing with other digital marketing service providers such as IBM, Dell and Deloitte.

Accenture’s share are trading within a triangle formation. I'd buy on breaking this pattern upward, with medium-term target at $130.