Another day, another dollar. Another quarter for global consulting giant and Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation Accenture
For its first quarter, the company reported that revenue rose about 12% to just under $4.2 billion. New bookings totaled more than $5.5 billion, and as I mentioned, the company produced more than $290 million in free cash flow.
Earnings and margins are complicated a bit, though, by a separation between reported and adjusted numbers. Reported numbers include options expense in this quarter, but not in the year-ago period, whereas the adjusted numbers factor option expense into the year-ago results.
On a reported basis, Accenture's gross margin slipped a bit, operating margin was flat (operating income was up 12%), and earnings per share were up about 12.5%. Not bad. On an adjusted basis, gross margins were stable, operating income was up 20%, and earnings per share were up a like amount.
Looking at the breakdown of the business, I don't see anything that strikes me as particularly surprising. Revenue growth was strongest in the units focused on resources (due to strength in chemicals, energy, and the like) and consumer products (due to strength in health care and retail) and weaker in financial services and communications/high tech. Interestingly, while the split in consulting and outsourcing revenue was about 62/38 in this period, the new bookings were split almost 50/50 between the two.
It's hard not to like the basic business model here. Accenture not only has broad exposure to the global economy in general, but its strong reputation is an asset in recruiting both new customers and talented new employees. It's also hard not to like the tremendous cash flow generation here -- the result of which led to nearly $1.2 billion in share repurchases during the quarter. With cash flow like that, investors should be able to look forward to many happy returns.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).