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."

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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