BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Technology company by 2.92% to 31.03 million shares with purchase of 0.88 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 4.71% valued currently at $8.24 billion. In addition, Wellington Management Co. LLP raised its holdings by 0.17 million to 11.46 million shares. And Geode Capital Management LLC has lifted its position by 2.02% or 0.22 million shares – to 11.27 million shares.
With over 2.92 million Accenture plc (ACN) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $252.95 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $739.66 million. The shares have shown a negative half year performance of -12.16% and its price on 03/10/23 lost nearly -2.62%. Currently, there are 658.39M common shares owned by the public and among those 657.39M shares have been available to trade.
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An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 27 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for ACN have a consensus price objective of $311.70. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $360.00 and a low of $245.00. The average price target is 20.21% above its recent price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -3.24% over that period. But an upside of 29.74% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $307.50.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 344 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 169 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 322,938 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 175 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 234,495 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Accenture plc are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Fidelity 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 19.31 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $5.13 billion. The company bought an additional 0.18 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.93% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund bought 34578.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 14.6 million shares valued at over $3.88 billion and representing 2.22% of the shares outstanding. Fidelity 500 Index Fund sold 9131.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 6.89 million shares at a value of $1.83 billion. Fidelity 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 1.05% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) opened at $260.14, up $0.38 from a prior closing price of $259.76. However, the script later moved the day high at 260.34, down -2.62%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -6.04% and -11.77% over the past three months. ACN shares are trading -5.21% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -18.25% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $242.95 and touched a high of $345.30 over the same period. ACN has an average intraday trading volume of 2.17 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -7.20%, -8.05%, and -10.34% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) shares accounts for 75.40% of the company’s 658.39M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 33.61%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 40.20% and 0.51% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $171.02B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.24. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 22.97, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $11.01. The company has a PEG of 2.55 and a Quick Ratio of 1.30 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.00. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.25% over the week and 1.82% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Accenture plc (ACN) will achieve an EPS of $2.49 for the current quarter, $3.08 for the next quarter and $12.56 for 2024. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $2.38 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $2.64. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $2.54 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 17.00%, and 9.80% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 9.02% over the next five years, compared to 14.50% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 27 brokerage firm advisors rate Accenture plc (ACN) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.10. Specifically, 16 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 8 of the 27 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the ACN, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Wells Fargo stated their Equal Weight rating for the stock in a research note on January 30, 2023, with the firm’s price target at $289. Piper Sandler coverage for the Accenture plc (ACN) stock in a research note released on December 12, 2022 offered a Underweight rating with a price target of $268. Exane BNP Paribas was of a view on June 29, 2022 that the stock is Neutral, while Goldman gave the stock Neutral rating on January 10, 2022, issuing a price target of $446. Wolfe Research on their part issued Peer Perform rating on December 17, 2021.
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