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$ACN 3Q15 Call - David, CFO: Our adjusted effective tax rate was 25.7% vs. 25% in 3Q14. Net income on an adjusted basis was $889MM vs. $882MM in 3Q14. Our diluted EPS on an adjusted basis were $1.30 vs. $1.26 in 3Q14; this reflects a 3% YoverY increase. Our days service outstanding was industry leading, they were 37 days vs. 35 days in 3Q14.
$ACN has opened a new innovation hub in Boston’s Back Bay. The company plans to add 400 highly skilled technology jobs in Boston by the end of 2020, and to expand its US apprenticeship program to Boston. The Boston hub, the second of 10 new innovation hubs Accenture had announced last year, is designed for collaboration and ideation.
Accenture Ventures, a unit of professional services provider $ACN, has forged an ecosystem partnership with Microsoft Accelerator, a program designed for empowering start-ups, to strengthen the start-up ecosystem in India. Under the partnership, the companies will host various start-up events in India to engage with the country’s start-up network.
Expanding its digital services portfolio further, $ACN subsidiary Accenture Interactive signed an agreement to acquire German firm Mackevision, which provides immersive product content. The financial terms of the deal are not known. The buyout will help Accenture accelerate its ability to envision, create and operate XR solutions for its clients.
$ACN has appointed Eva Sage-Gavin as Senior Managing Director for Talent and Organization practice, effective immediately. She has held leadership positions at Gap, PepsiCo and Xerox. Most recently, Sage-Gavin served Boston Consulting Group as Senior Advisor and was a member of its CEO Advisory practice.
Professional services company $ACN has completed the acquisition of digital commerce agency Altima, expanding the capabilities of Accenture Interactive in various key markets including France, where Altima is headquartered. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
$ACN has signed a five-year agreement with automotive supplier Faureica, under which the companies will co-invest and work together to enhance innovation for mobility services. The focus areas of the partnership will be cognitive technologies to reinvent the on-board user experience and services to enhance health and wellness.
$ACN plans to return about $4.3Bil to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in FY18, and expects to reduce outstanding shares by 1%. With more acquisitions in the pipeline, Accenture expects FY18 to witness a 2.5-3% inorganic revenue contribution. According to the company, the US tax legislation will have minimal impact on its finances.
$ACN is strengthening its marketing capabilities by investing to scale intelligent marketing operations. AI is being incorporated increasingly into clients’ businesses across every function and process. The company expects to record a non-cash expense of up to $500MM in FY18, to reflect the impact of lower tax rates on its US deferred tax assets.
$ACN said strong double-digit growth in the Digital Cloud and Security divisions continues to be its main growth drivers. The company intends to invest $1.1-1.4Bil in acquisitions in fiscal 2018. Going forward, Accenture Digital will be focused on the key areas of Accenture Interactive, Accenture Industry X.O and Accenture Applied Intelligence.
$ACN said it expects to register revenues in the range of $9.15Bil to $9.40Bil in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. During the quarter, the topline is anticipated to expand between 6% and 9% in local currency, reflecting a positive 4.5% foreign-exchange impact.
$ACN raised its FY18 earnings per share guidance to the range of $6.48 to $6.66 from the earlier estimate of $6.36-$6.60. Revenue is seen growing 6-8% in local currency. Operating margin for 2018 is forecasted in the 14.9-15.1% range, and operating cash flow between $5Bil and $5.3Bil. Effective tax rate is expected to be in the range of 22% to 24%.
The major business segments of $ACN registered double-digit revenue growth in the first quarter, led by the Financial Services division that grew 14% to $2.1Bil. Revenues of Communications, Media & Technology advanced 11%, and those of Health & Public Service moved up 9%. Products and Resources revenues increased 11% and 12%, respectively.
With strong contributions from the high-growth Digital and Cloud businesses, $ACN’s revenues grew 12% to more than $10Bil in 1Q18. The topline benefited from a robust gain in new bookings, with inputs from the company's recent acquisitions. Earnings of the tech consulting giant climbed 13% annually to $1.79 per share, exceeded market expectations.
$ACN has appointed Anders Lindblad as head of Communications and Media Industry in Europe, effective immediately. Most recently, Lindblad served Ericsson as an SVP and head of the Cloud and IP business unit. At Ericsson, he had held several positions in business development and commercial operations. Lindblad began his career as a fighter pilot.
$ACN has entered into a strategic partnership with Maana, a digital technology firm, to support businesses in their digital transformation initiatives. The initial clients will be energy companies planning to expand to other industries. As part of the tie-up, Accenture made a minority investment in Maana, the terms of which are yet to be disclosed.
Expanding its creative capabilities in Europe, $ACN has agreed to acquire Irish creative agency Rothco. The acquisition complements the presence of Accenture Interactive in the region. The company did not disclose financial terms of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval.
Pharma company Shionogi and Co. has entered into an agreement with $ACN for a program to drive its digital transformation and leverage IT cost savings. Accenture will help Shionogi to develop a strategy for its transformation initiatives, and to enhance the digital talent of its IT division through the knowledge-transfer program.
Professional services company $ACN said it has promoted 687 executives to the posts of managing director and senior managing director. The promotions span almost all the geographic regions and business divisions. About 32% of the newly promoted managing directors are women, which is an all-time high in the category.