By Dave Sebastian
Accenture PLC said it booked some investment gains for the August quarter, boosting profit, though consulting revenue fell while the company faces uncertainty amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accenture on Thursday posted fourth-quarter net income of $1.29 billion, or $1.99 a share, compared with $1.13 billion, or $1.74 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $1.73 a share.
The company said it took gains of 29 cents a share on investment. Excluding those gains, adjusted earnings were $1.70 a share, down 2% from the year-ago period.
Revenue fell 2% to $10.84 billion, in line with company expectations. Analysts were expecting $10.93 billion. The company said revenue fell 1% on a local currency basis from a decline in revenue from reimbursable travel costs. Consulting revenue fell 8%, while outsourcing revenue rose 6%.
The company said it sees fiscal 2021 revenue growth of about 2% to 5% in local currency, including a reduction of about one percentage point from a decline in reimbursable travel costs, on earnings of $7.80 a share to $8.10 a share. Accenture expects 2021 operating cash flow of $6.35 billion to $6.85 billion; property and equipment additions of $650 million; and free cash flow of $5.7 billion to $6.2 billion.
It expects revenue of $11.15 billion to $11.55 billion for the current quarter, about flat to down 3% in local currency. That includes a reduction of about two percentage points from a decline in revenue from reimbursable travel costs, it said. The company assumes a 1.5% positive foreign-exchange effect compared with the same quarter last year.
Accenture has also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 88 cents a share for shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 13. That dividend, payable Nov. 13, reflects a 10% increase, the company said.
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