During the previous quarter, Accenture’s strong market practices helped them to establish a solid presence in the global market. Not only are they winning big contracts worldwide, but they are also being given numerous accolades. Last week, Standards & Poor’s announced plans to add Accenture to the S&P 500 Index starting July. Last month, the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals named the company the leader among the Global Outsourcing 100 List for the fourth consecutive year. It is thus no surprise that their quarterly performance also surpassed the market expectations.
Accenture’s (NASDAQ:ACN) Q3 revenues grew 21% over the year to $6.72 billion, with Consulting revenues growing 23% over the year to $3.97 billion and Outsourcing revenues growing 17% over the year to $2.75 billion. The market was expecting revenues of $6.43 billion. EPS for the quarter grew 25% over the year to $0.93 and surpassed the market’s projections of $0.90.
During the quarter, Accenture repurchased 11.4 million shares of its common stock for $644 million. They also paid out a semi-annual cash dividend of $0.45 in the quarter.
For the current quarter, they project revenues of $6.4 billion to $6.6 billion, compared with the Street’s projections of $6.31 billion. They expect to end the year with revenue growth of 14% to 15% and EPS of $3.36 to $3.40. The market was looking for EPS of $3.27 for the year.
Accenture’s Operating Metrics
The company ended the quarter with 223,000 employees spread across 120 countries. They increased their hiring plans and are now looking to hire 66,000 people during the year, ahead of the 64,000 planned for last quarter. During the quarter, utilization fell marginally to 85% from 86% reported a quarter ago. Attrition, which excludes involuntary terminations, grew to 15% from 14% reported last quarter. Finally, the company says it is on track to hire at least 66,000 people around the world for the rest of 2011.
Accenture Continues International Expansion
During the quarter, they continued to expand their global footprint. They opened a new analytics innovation center in Dublin and Barcelona. Their operations worldwide are helping them win big clients and expand in other verticals. For instance, recently, they launched a National Electronic Health Record system in Singapore and implemented the commercial back-office system for Ascendi, the largest toll road operator in Portugal.
The company is also looking at expanding in the Middle East. Last month, they acquired majority stake in the Saudi Arabia–based Faisaliah Business & Technology Company (FBTC). FBTC is among the leading information technology services company in the Middle East, and it provides consultancy services for enterprise resource planning, corporate treasury solutions, e-banking solutions, mobile sales and hand-held technology solutions, and business process re-engineering services. Accenture hopes to combine FBTC’s enterprise architecture, systems implementation, and technology consulting skills with their management consulting, technology, and outsourcing experience to strengthen their position in the region. They are focusing on expanding in Saudi Arabia’s energy, utilities, and petrochemical industries.
The stock is trading at $60.42 with a market capitalization of $42 billion. Last week, on the announcement of the stock’s inclusion in the S&P 500 index, it touched a 52-week high of $60.98.