Accenture beats expectations by slim margin

Accenture beats expectations by slim margin

IT services provider Accenture narrowly beat revenue and earnings expectations for the third quarter of its 2002 fiscal year, to May 31, while stating it continues to face a "challenging" economic climate, the company said in a statement on Friday morning.

Accenture reported net income of $US114.4 million, or $0.27 per share, beating by a penny the consensus expectation from 14 analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call. Net income rose 9 per cent over pro forma net income of $104.8 million in 2001's third fiscal quarter, when earnings per share were $0.25.

Accenture's revenue of $2.98 billion also slightly exceeded consensus expectations of $2.97 billion from eight analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call. Revenue rose 1 per cent over pro forma revenue in 2001's third fiscal quarter.

Accenture's stock was trading at $14.82 on Friday, down 4.69 per cent from Thursday's close. Its highest point in the past 52 weeks was $30.50.

IT services providers have been struggling recently with a slump in demand for their offerings and with a drop in prices caused by intense competition, according to Gartner's Dataquest unit. The IT services market's revenue is expected to grow a tepid 2.8 per cent in 2002 over 2001, according to a forecast made by Dataquest in May.

Accenture, based in Bermuda, reports its 2001 third-quarter results in a pro forma fashion because at the time the company operated as a series of related partnerships and corporations under the control of its partners. The company officially switched to a corporate structure when it went public on July 19, 2001.

Thus, the 2001 third-quarter results are pro forma, instead of actual, because they have been adjusted according to GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) to show what the company's results would have been if it had at the time been operating as a public company, the company said.

The pro forma calculation also reflects the effects of a variety of one-time events related to the company's transition to a corporate structure and its initial public offering, including reorganisation and rebranding costs.

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