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Accenture Shares Rally on Q4 Results (ACN)

Shares of Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN) rallied in trading today after the management consulting reported its fourth-quarter financial results.

For the fourth quarter ended August 31, 2012, ACN reported net revenue of $6.8 billion, representing an increase of 2% in U.S. dollars and 9% in local currency over the same period in the previous year. The company’s diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.88. Operating margin for the quarter was 13.8%.

ACN’s operating cash flow for the fourth quarter was $1.7 billion. Free cash flow for the quarter was $1.6 billion. The company’s new bookings in the fourth quarter were $9.2 billion, which are the highest quarterly bookings ever.

For the full fiscal year, Accenture reported net revenue of $27.9 billion, representing an increase of 9% in U.S. dollars and 11% in local currency over the previous year. The company’s diluted earnings per share for the fiscal year were $3.84, representing an increase of 13% over the same period in the previous year. Operating margin for the quarter was 13.9%.

Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture, said that the company is very pleased with its financial results for fiscal 2012, which met or exceeded its business outlook for the year. Nanterme said that ACN’s revenue growth was strong and broad-based across the different dimensions of its business, and the company increased EPS by 13%. He added that the company’s balance sheet remains very strong, with a cash balance of $6.6 billion.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Accenture expects net revenue to be between $7.1 billion and $7.35 billion. For fiscal year 2013, the company expects net revenue growth to be in the range of 5% to 8% in local currency. Fiscal year 2013 earnings are expected to be between $4.22 per share and $4.30 per share.

ACN shares hit a 52-week high of $70.65 in trading today before finishing the day 7.11% higher at $70.03on above average volume of 8.72 million.

Year-to-date, ACN shares gained 31.56%, outperforming the S&P 500.

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