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Accenture (ACN) Hits 52-Week High, Can the Run Continue?

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Have you been paying attention to shares of Accenture (ACN - Free Report) ? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 10.1% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $178.42 in the previous session. Accenture has gained 26.3% since the start of the year compared to the 22.6% move for the Zacks Business Services sector and the 23.5% return for the Zacks Consulting Services industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has a great record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on March 28, 2019, Accenture reported EPS of $1.73 versus consensus estimate of $1.57 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 1.63%.

For the current fiscal year, Accenture is expected to post earnings of $7.3 per share on $43.11 billion in revenues. This represents an 8.31% change in EPS on an 8.93% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $7.93 per share on $46.04 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 8.53% and 6.81%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Accenture may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company is due for a pullback from this level.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as they provide investors with an additional way to sort through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. The idea behind the style scores is to help investors pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Accenture has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are B and B, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 24.4X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 21.7X versus its peer group's average of 14.6X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 2.36. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to look at the Zacks Rank for the stock, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Accenture currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to favorable earnings estimate revisions from covering analysts.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Accenture passes the test. Thus, it seems as though Accenture shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

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