Accenture Profit Surges 59 Percent


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Accenture, the world's largest management and technology consulting company, Wednesday said profit for its latest quarter surged 59 percent, helped by an economic recovery in many parts of the world.

Bermuda-based Accenture had net income of $210.4 million, or 37 cents a share, for the third quarter ended May 31, compared with $132.1 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

The latest results matched the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Last month, Accenture raised its earnings estimate to 37 cents a share from a previous forecast of 30 cents a share, citing growth across all business lines.

Net revenue, or revenue before client reimbursements, for the latest quarter climbed 21 percent to $3.69 billion from $3.04 billion.

Accenture cited improvement in each of its five operating groups, with the strongest growth in the government group, where net revenue rose 31 percent to $547.6 million. Net revenue from consulting rose 13 percent to $2.33 billion, while revenue from outsourcing increased 37 percent to $1.36 billion.

New bookings for the third quarter fell 53 percent to $3.4 billion. New bookings for consulting work came to $2.2 billion, unchanged from a year earlier, while new bookings for outsourcing declined 60 percent to $1.2 billion from $3 billion.

Accenture has projected new bookings for the full fiscal year in the range of $18 billion to $20 billion, but given new bookings to date and pending opportunities in the pipeline, the company expects to exceed the upper end of the estimated range.

For the fourth quarter, Accenture projects net revenue in the range of $3.4 billion to $3.5 billion, and earnings in the range of 26 cents to 29 cents a share.

For the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year, ended Aug. 31, 2003, Accenture reported net income of 25 cents a share on net revenue of $3.02 billion.

For the full fiscal year 2004, Accenture projects net revenue gains of 15 percent to 16 percent, with earnings of $1.18 to $1.20 a share.

For fiscal 2003, Accenture reported net income of $498.2 million, or $1.05 a share, and net revenue of $11.82 billion.

Accenture said earlier this year that chairman and chief executive Joe W. Forehand will step down as CEO Sept. 1, but remain chairman. William D. Green, chief operating officer of client services, will become CEO.

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