Accenture 3Q profit up, outlook disappoints

One-time reorganization benefit helps boost Accenture's 3Q profit, but outlook falls short

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Consulting firm Accenture PLC said Thursday that its net income grew nearly 18 percent in its fiscal third quarter, helped by a one-time gain, but its outlook fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Its stock fell $5.48, or 6.8 percent, to $74.74 in after-hours trading after the release of the earnings report. It has gained 21 percent this year.

The company posted profit of $810.3 million, or $1.21 per share, for the three months ended May 31. That compares with net income of $689.2 million, or $1.03 per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding a $50 million benefit from a reduction in reorganization liabilities, Accenture's latest earnings amounted to $1.14 per share, beating analysts' expectations by a penny.

Net revenue was nearly unchanged at $7.2 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $7.43 billion.

Accenture said new bookings for the quarter totaled $8.3 billion, with $3.9 billion stemming for consulting and the rest from outsourcing. Chairman and CEO Pierre Nanterme noted that the company's consulting revenue didn't meet management's expectations.

Accenture cut its revenue outlook for the fiscal year to growth of 3 to 4 percent, down from 5 to 8 percent. For the current quarter, which runs through August, it expects revenue of $6.7 billion to $7 billion — analysts were predicting $7.38 billion.

For the year, the company expects earnings, excluding one-time items, of $4.18 to $4.22 per share, down from its previous forecast of $4.24 to $4.32 per share. Analysts are expecting $4.30 per share.

Accenture said it expects to return at least $3.3 billion to its shareholders in fiscal 2013 through dividends and share repurchases.

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