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Accenture 2Q profit rises, tops Street estimates

NEW YORK (AP) -- Consulting firm Accenture said Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter net income climbed 68 percent, helped in part by a reorganization benefit.

Its adjusted profit beat analysts' estimates, but its overall revenue just missed expectations. The company forecast net revenue for the third quarter that was below Wall Street's expectations. It also narrowed its fiscal 2013 revenue guidance.

Accenture also announced that Chief Financial Officer Pamela J. Craig will step down from her post on July 1 and retire from the company on Aug. 31. The company said that the 52-year-old David Rowland, senior vice president of finance, will succeed Craig as CFO in July.

For the three months ended Feb. 28, Accenture PLC earned $1.18 billion, or $1.65 per share, up from earnings of $704.5 million, or 97 cents per share, a year ago.

Removing a reduction in reorganization liabilities and benefits from final determinations of prior-year tax liabilities, earnings were $1 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 97 cents per share, on average.

Total revenue increased 3 percent to $7.49 billion from $7.26 billion as outsourcing revenue rose. Wall Street forecast revenue of $7.51 billion.

New bookings totaled $9.1 billion. Outsourcing new bookings — which comprised 52 percent of total new bookings — were $4.7 billion. Consulting new bookings — which made up 48 percent of total new bookings — were $4.4 billion.

Accenture anticipates third-quarter net revenue — a measure that excludes reimbursements — of $7.25 billion to $7.5 billion. Analysts expect $7.62 billion.

The company also said that it now foresees fiscal 2013 sales at the lower half of its prior outlook for a 5 percent to 8 percent increase. It maintained its adjusted earnings forecast of $4.24 to $4.32 per share.

Wall Street predicts full-year earnings of $4.28 per share.

Shares of Accenture rose $1.05, or 1.4 percent, to $75.92 in afternoon trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $54.94 to $78.46