Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) stock fell -1.17% on Friday to $262.32 against a previous-day closing price of $265.42. With 3.45 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 2.01 million shares. During the session, the Information Technology Services company that operates in wider Technology sector, reached to the highest price of $271.46 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $261.94. The 52-week range on ACN shows that it touched its highest point at $417.37 and its lowest point at $261.77 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $347.32. With its current market cap of 166.65 billion, ACN has annualized dividend of $3.88 while the current yield stands at 1.48%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.22.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of ACN was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -4.21%, but this was down by -14.47% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -8.23% while six-month performance fell -18.15%. The stock lost -21.62% in the past year, while it has lost -36.72% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for ACN yields 10.31 with Next year EPS estimates of 11.98. For the next quarter, that number is 2.57. This implies an EPS growth rate of 16.00% for this year and 12.04% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 12.25% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 7.30%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 632.75 million ACN shares are outstanding with a float of 599.59 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 3.81 million, which was 0.60% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Ms. Julie T. Spellman Sweet as the firm’s CEO & Chairman, Ms. Kathleen R. McClure serves as its Chief Financial Officer.
Through their ownership of 77.43% of ACN’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 43.22% of ACN, in contrast to 35.13% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 0.51%. As the largest shareholder in ACN with 8.70% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 55,049,488 shares worth 55,049,488. A second-largest stockholder of ACN, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 30,145,805 shares, controlling over 4.77% of the firm’s shares. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in ACN, holding 25,985,997 shares or 4.11% stake. With a 3.10% stake in ACN, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 19,610,322 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which owns about 2.24% of ACN stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 14,135,912 shares valued at 4.08 billion. Manulife Balanced Income Private holds 1.11% of the stake in ACN, owning 7,023,000 shares worth 2.03 billion.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for ACN since 26 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 15 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 9 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With ACN analysts setting a high price target of $460.00 and a low target of $281.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $338.95. Based on these targets, ACN could surge 75.36% to reach the target high and rise by 7.12% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 29.21% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. ACN will report FY 2023 earnings on 09/28/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $12.77 being high and $11.07 being low. For ACN, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $11.88. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Accenture plc surprised analysts by -$0.07 when it reported $2.79 EPS against a consensus estimate of $2.86. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.17. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $3.19 and the low estimate is $2.94. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $3.04.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded ACN stock several times over the past three months with 31 Buys and 14 Sells. In these transactions, 1,440 shares were bought while 11,389 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 174 while that of sell transactions has risen to 198 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 170,105 while 165,736 shares were sold.