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12/21/2006
12:19 PM
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Accenture Posts Strong Quarterly Growth, Raises 2007 Outlook

Based on the strong quarter, Accenture raised its earnings outlook for 2007 by 3 cents, to between $1.80 and $1.85 per share. The company said it expects revenue for the year to increase by 9% to 12%.

Driven by strong sales to the financial services industry and booming growth in Asia, consulting firm Accenture on Wednesday reported its highest-ever revenue for a single quarter and raised its earnings guidance for 2007.

For its fiscal first quarter ended Nov. 30, the Bermuda-based company said revenue increased 14% year over year to $4.75 billion, while net income jumped 32% to $284.2 million. Earnings per share climbed 28% to 46 cents.

Accenture's consulting business posted a 13% sales gain, to $2.91 billion, while outsourcing sales increased 16% to $1.84 billion. Overall sales to companies in the financial services sector climbed 25% to $1.07 billion, while sales to governments rose 5% to $628 million.

On a geographic basis, Accenture saw the strongest growth in the Asia-Pacific region, where sales increased 19% to $361 million. Sales in the Americas rose 13% to $2.09 billion, while sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa gained 15% to $2.3 billion.

Based on the strong quarter, Accenture raised its earnings outlook for 2007 by 3 cents, to between $1.80 and $1.85 per share. The company said it expects revenue for the year to increase by 9% to 12%.

"Accenture is running a well-oiled machine," says Technology Business Research analyst Eugene Zakharov, "enjoying growth fueled by improving outsourcing and consulting opportunities."

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