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Accenture Opens Innovation Hub, Intends to Add 200 Jobs

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Accenture plc (ACN - Free Report) yesterday opened an innovation hub in Metro Detroit to assist companies in the automotive, industrial equipment, technology, energy and utilities industries in preparing for a digitalized economy.

The innovation hub — equipped with Accenture’s Industry X.0 Innovation Center —  is expected to help clients improve product development, engineering, manufacturing and field operations. The hub will allow practical experiments including invention, co-creation and evaluation of digital solutions to help clients better understand applications.

Julie Sweet, chief executive officer at Accenture North America, stated, “Continuous innovation is an imperative to succeed in today’s digital economy.” She added, “In metro Detroit we are bringing innovation to our clients’ doorsteps to help them achieve tangible, ground-breaking results faster than ever. Our investment in innovation is an investment in our clients, our people and the communities in which we work and live.”

This innovation hub is the eighth U.S. opening. There are more than 100 Accenture innovation locations around the world. Some of the recent openings have been in Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Houston, New York, San Jose, California and Washington, DC.

While currently employing more than 850 people in Metro Detroit, the global consulting giant plans to add 200 more highly skilled technology jobs in fields like digital, cloud and security services by 2020. To this end, the company plans to shift its office from Southfield to downtown Detroit this fall.

Accenture is also participating in the Grand Circus apprenticeship program to boost its technological presence in Metro Detroit. For skill development across the Metro Detroit locality, Accenture has teamed up with several local organizations like Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Upwardly Global, Junior Achievement, Covenant House and Tech Town, with the help of Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship scheme.

Bottom Line

The innovation hub is expected to complement Accenture’s robust growth in the North America region.

In fiscal 2017, the company generated the largest chunk (around 48%) of its revenues from the region. Revenues from North America increased by almost 15% from $14.2 billion in fiscal 2015 to $16.3 billion in fiscal 2017. Additionally, in the first half of 2018, the region reported 8% growth when compared with the first half of 2017.

Accenture’s long-term prospects look promising, driven by sustained focus on innovative product rollouts, continued investments in enhancing digital and marketing capabilities and cloud suite, along with major acquisitions.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Currently, Accenture has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A glimpse of the company’s price trend reveals that the stock has had an impressive run on the bourse in the past year. Shares of Accenture havereturned 26.2%, outperforming the industry’s gain of 25.2%.


Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Business Services sector include Automatic Data Processing (ADP - Free Report) , The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation and TransUnion (TRU - Free Report) . While Automatic Data Processing and Dun & Bradstreet currently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), TransUnion sports a Zacks Rank #1.

The long-term expected earnings per share growth rate for Automatic Data Processing, Dun & Bradstreet and TransUnion is 11.3%, 4.5% and 10%, respectively.

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