Are folks interested in consulting and outsourcing giant and Inside Value recommendation Accenture
Overall net revenue was up nearly 8% for the second quarter (and up about 13% in local currency terms), and operating income would have risen about 23% without the impact of the contract trouble and a reorganization benefit.
Of course, the elephant standing in the middle of the room is that contract trouble. The company announced that it was taking a charge of $450 million to account for expected losses over the rest of the contract. This huge project (10 years, about $3.5 billion) has been problematic for Accenture before, and the latest troubles seem to stem partly from delays by partner iSoftGroup.
While Accenture says it wants to renegotiate the deal, it doesn't seem like the Brits will be too enthusiastic about accommodating it. Not only has the government decided to allow providers to use alternative systems, but it's also now calling for personnel changes at Accenture in response to these troubles. Now, I realize generalizations are dangerous, but I'll be very curious to see how this goes over -- Accenture has a well-earned reputation for not taking those sorts of "suggestions" with a lot of gratitude.
Given the size of this National Health Service deal relative to Accenture's whole business, the reaction in the market is certainly interesting. That said, I also found it interesting that new bookings in this quarter were soft both compared with the previous quarter and year over year. That in itself is not cause for panic, nor is it a reason to automatically favor a rival like BearingPoint
All in all, though, so long as you believe in the general trends behind consulting and outsourcing, it's hard to imagine that Accenture won't continue to be a major player. Provided that your own due diligence checks out, the recent sell-off here might just be one of those rare panic-induced gifts for investors.
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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).