Accenture plc (ACN - Free Report) yesterday unveiled plans to launch an Applied Intelligence Studio for mining. The studio, located in Johannesburg, is expected to open in February.
The company aims to integrate Accenture Applied Intelligence’s AI and data science capabilities with expertise from its mining industry group to develop digital solutions.
The company is recruiting data scientists with engineering and mining experience. They will work with Accenture Applied Intelligence’s global team of more than 3,000 data scientists for development of these solutions.
Shares of Accenture have gained 11.6% on a year-to-date basis compared with the industry’s rise of 10.4%.
Exploring a Potential but Challenged Space
Mining, a key driver of economy in South Africa, is currently struggling against high input costs and volatile commodity prices. Thus, achieving cost competitiveness has become a priority for the sector. So, Accenture’s move to explore the space makes sense as it possesses digital capabilities to help mining companies improve operational efficiencies and workers’ safety.
The Bigger Picture
The studio is part of Accenture’s network of mining experts who serve clients in the United States, Australia and Brazil. This move appears to be an effort by the company to strengthen and expand the network globally.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Currently, Accenture carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the broader Business Services sector are General Finance Corporation (GFN - Free Report) , Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (HSII - Free Report) and Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The long-term expected earnings per share (three to five years) growth rate for General Finance, Heidrick & Struggles and Automatic Data Processing is 11%, 13.5% and 12.8%, respectively.
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