What Should Investors Do With Accenture plc (ACN) Stock?

Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) has been range bound between the range of $156.64 and $156.64 during the whole day. The stock finished Thursday at $159.25. The -3.02% downtrend forced its market value to reach at $99.52B. The price went up as high as $156.64 before retreating. Trading activity significantly improved as the volume at ready counter increased to 5,963,771 shares versus 2,610,920 in average daily trading volume over the past 20 days. So far this year, the volume has averaged about 2,229,668 shares. The stock is now 9.04% above against its bear-market low of $146.05 on April 03, 2018. It has retreated -10.29% since it’s 52-week high of $175.64 reached in September. Now the market price is up 7.84% on the year and up 4.02% YTD.

ACN’s 50 day simple moving average (SMA 50) price is $162.06 and its 200-day simple moving average (SMA 200) price is $160.73. The company’s stock currently has a total float of 610.87M shares. Its weekly volatility is hovering around 2.11% and felt 1.89% volatility in price over a month. On the upside, the share price will test short term resistance at around $161.78. On a downside, the stock is likely to find some support, which begins at $156.68. The failure to get near-term support could push it to $154.11.

Separately, it has been reported that multiple insider activity took place at Accenture plc (ACN). Group Chief Executive-Fin Serv Lumb Richard sold 2,000 shares for $127,804 in transaction occurred on 2018/11/12. After making this transaction, the Group Chief Executive-Fin Serv owns a direct stake of 327,020 shares, worth $20,352,787, as per the last closing price. On 2018/11/07 Shook Ellyn, Chief Leadership & HR Officer at ACN, dumped 2,344 shares at an average price of $160 per share. The selling total is valued at $5,088,197.

Group Chief Exec-Growth Mkts, Casati Gianfranco had divested 18,258 shares for $46,014 through a trade on 2018/11/01. Following this activity, the insider holds 2,888,233 shares worth $7,327,730 as of recent close. Wall Street’s most bullish Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) analysts are predicting the share price to blow past $205 per share during the next 12 months. The current median share price forecast by them is $180, suggesting that the stock could increase 13.03% in that time frame. The average price target of $178.46 calls for a nearly 12.06% increase in the stock price.

It had seen a new analyst call from MoffettNathanson, which initiated the stock at Buy on October 04. Analysts at Deutsche Bank, maintained the company shares at Buy on September 20 but switched target price from $170 to $180. The stock lost favor of BofA/Merrill analysts who expressed their lack of confidence in it using a downgrade from Buy to Neutral on June 29. Susquehanna analysts came out with bullish views on June 19 when the call was made. They think the stock is now Positive compared to to their prior call for Neutral.

When looking at valuations, Accenture plc (ACN) has a pricey P/E of 24.09x as compared to industry average of 22.43x. Moreover, it trades for 20.08 times the next 12 months of expected earnings. Also, it is trading at rather expensive levels at just over 9.84x price/book and 2.39x price/sales. Compared to others, Accenture plc is in a different league with regards to profitability, having net margins of 9.8%. To put some perspective around this, the industry’s average net margin is 13.13%. ACN’s ROE is 41.7%, which is also considerably better than the industry’s ROE of 14.1%. It’s also very liquid in the near term, with a current ratio of 1.3. The stock has a debt/capital of 0.

Shares of Accenture plc (ACN) have dropped -5.1% since the company’s Aug-18 earnings report. Over the past 12 fiscal quarters, Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) has topped consensus earnings estimates in 11 quarters (91%), missed earnings in 1 quarters (8%), whereas at 0 occasion EPS met analyst expectations. ACN last reported earnings on September 27, 2018 when it released Aug-18 results that exceeded expectations. The company raked in $1.58 per share, 0% change on the same period last year. That was better than consensus for $1.56. Revenue for the recent quarter stood at $10.15 billion, up 11% on last year and above the $10.01 billion predicted by analysts. For this quarter, Wall Street analysts forecast revenue in a range of $9.89 billion to $10.09 billion, which should be compared with $0 generated last year.