Accenture plc Rises on Analyst-Stumping Q3 Results, Including Strong European Sales

Source: Accenture.

Shares of Accenture (NYSE: ACN  ) were up 0.1% in pre-market trading today, following the company's release of a strong third-quarter report.

Analysts had expected the consulting and outsourcing firm to deliver quarterly earnings of $1.21 per share on revenue of $7.6 billion.

Accenture reported generally accepted accounting principles earnings of $1.26 per share and net sales of $7.8 billion, passing analyst estimates on both counts. Earnings rose 4% year over year while sales increased by 7%.

The company booked $8.8 billion in new orders in the quarter, in line with the order bookings in the year-ago quarter.

All five of Accenture's operating groups saw sales increase year over year, led by a 10% uptick in health and public service sales and 11% stronger sales in the products division. In geographic terms, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa segment led the way with a 13% sales increase.

Accenture expects fourth-quarter sales of roughly $7.6 billion, in line with the current analyst view. Earnings should land near $1.08 per share, which is below the Street projection at $1.15 per share.

"These results clearly demonstrate that we are successfully executing our growth strategy," said Accenture CEO and Chairman Pierre Nanterme in a prepared statement. "We are leveraging our unique positioning at the intersection of business and technology, capturing new opportunities in key growth areas -- especially digital -- and investing to further differentiate our capabilities."

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