Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) Short interest down 16.5% in October

Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN – Get Rating) was the target of a significant drop in short-term interest in October. As of October 15, there was short interest totaling 4,600,000 shares, a decrease of 16.5% from the total of 5,510,000 shares as of September 30. Currently, 0.7% of the stock’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,050,000 shares, the short interest ratio is currently 2.2 days.

Insider buying and selling at Accenture

In other Accenture news, insider Jean-Marc Ollagnier sold 6,250 shares in a trade on Friday, October 14. The shares were sold at an average price of $254.99, for a total transaction of $1,593,687.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 153,393 shares of the company, valued at $39,113,681.07. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, accessible via the SEC’s website. Separately, COO Manish Sharma sold 8,424 shares in a trade dated Friday, October 21. The shares were sold at an average price of $261.66, for a total value of $2,204,223.84. Following the completion of the sale, the COO now directly owns 3,575 shares of the company, valued at $935,434.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available via this link. Additionally, insider Jean-Marc Ollagnier sold 6,250 shares in a trade dated Friday, October 14. The shares were sold at an average price of $254.99, for a total transaction of $1,593,687.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 153,393 shares of the company, valued at $39,113,681.07. The disclosure of this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 23,830 shares of the company valued at $6,245,748 in the past ninety days. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s shares.

Hedge funds weigh on Accenture

Institutional investors have recently changed their stake in the company. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Accenture in Q1 worth $918,234,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in Accenture shares by 33.6% during the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 8,858,899 shares of the information technology services provider worth $2,459,673,000 after buying 2,228,802 additional shares last quarter. GQG Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Accenture stock during Q2 at a value of $373,981,000. Winslow Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Accenture stock during Q1 worth $406,514,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Accenture shares by 2.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 47,216,394 shares of the information technology service provider worth $15,922,783,000 after buying an additional 1,001,022 shares last quarter. 73.73% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Changes to analyst ratings

ACN has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Susquehanna Bancshares cut its price target on Accenture shares from $460.00 to $360.00 in a Friday, September 23 research report. Cowen cut his price target on Accenture shares from $325.00 to $295.00 in a Friday, September 23 research report. Robert W. Baird raised his price target on Accenture shares from $310.00 to $338.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a Tuesday, August 9 research report. Jefferies Financial Group cut its price target on Accenture shares from $342.00 to $310.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a Wednesday, September 14 research report. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered its price target on Accenture shares from $357.00 to $335.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 23. . Nine research analysts gave the stock a hold rating and ten gave the stock a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $337.60.

Accenture stock up 3.2%

Accenture stock traded at $8.94 during Friday’s trading, hitting $287.78. The stock had a trading volume of 2,306,310 shares, compared to an average volume of 2,260,677. Accenture has a 52-week low of $242.95 and a 52-week high of $417.37. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $275.53 and a 200-day moving average price of $288.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $181.47 billion, a PE ratio of 26.87, a P/E/G ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 1.22.

Accenture (NYSE:ACN – Get Rating) last released quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 22. The information technology service provider reported earnings per share of $2.60 for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.57 by $0.03. Accenture had a net margin of 11.17% and a return on equity of 31.68%. The company posted revenue of $15.42 billion for the quarter, versus $15.41 billion expected by analysts. In the same quarter last year, the company earned earnings per share of $2.20. The company’s revenue for the quarter increased 14.9% on an annual basis. On average, stock analysts predict Accenture will post an EPS of 11.34 for the current fiscal year.

Accenture increases its dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15. Shareholders of record on Thursday, October 13 will receive a dividend of $1.12. This represents a dividend of $4.48 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.56%. This is a boost from Accenture’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.97. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12. Accenture’s payout ratio is currently 41.83%.

About Accenture

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Accenture plc, a professional services firm, provides strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operational services worldwide. The Company offers application services, including agile transformation, DevOps, application modernization, enterprise architecture, software and quality engineering, data management, intelligent automation includes robotic process automation, natural language processing and virtual agents, and liquid application management services, as well as program, project and service management services; strategy consulting services; critical data elements, data management and governance, data platform and architecture, product-based organization and skills, business adoption and value realization services; digitization of engineering, research and development; design and development of smart connected products; product platform engineering and modernization; activation of the product as a service; products related to production and operations; autonomous robotic systems; the digital transformation of investment projects; and digital industrial workforce solutions.

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