Shares of professional services giant Accenture (ACN -2.01%) rose 49.3% in 2019, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The gains continued a long-term trend of roughly doubling the broader market's gains, adding up to a 134% return over the last five years, while the S&P 500 market barometer's increase stopped at 62%.
Accenture's gains in 2019 were accompanied by a steady drumbeat of rock-solid earnings reports. The bottom-line surprise was particularly strong in March's second-quarter update, driving share prices 5% higher in a single day, but earnings came in significantly above analyst expectations every time.
Steady market-beating returns have been a common theme for Accenture in recent years. What used to be an eternally undervalued growth investment has become fairly valued as Accenture's market value finally caught up to the high quality of its underlying operations. The stock is finally trading at valuation ratios comparable to those of other large-scale titans of the tech industry.
The company is aiming for continued market share gains on a global level, applying a massive library of lessons learned over the decades to client issues on a local level and adding more insights for every problem solved along the way.
"We see growth and significant differences by country while at the same time our global footprint gives us the opportunity to leverage our learnings and our talent from around the world to accelerate outcomes for our clients," said CEO Julie Sweet in December's first-quarter earnings call.