What once was a small business and technology consulting division of an accounting firm, Accenture PLC (ACN) has grown to become one of the dominant names in the professional services arena. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, it provides services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations across over 40 industries, attracting clients from all over the world seeking to develop and boost their businesses.
A few years ago, the firm decided to focus on expanding its presence in the booming IT industry. And shortly after, in 2019, Accenture was already recognised as the world's most admired IT Services company by Fortune magazine (18 consecutive years). It also made into the lists of the Forbes Global 2000 (16 consecutive years), the Top 50 Companies for Diversity and the 100 Best Companies to Work For from 2009 to 2019. The business has received a plethora of awards, including Interbrand’s Best Global Brands (18 consecutive years) and Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies (12 consecutive years).
The business has performed extremely well in 2019. The stock appreciated over 49 per cent, significantly outperforming the 40.7 per cent rally of the industry it belongs to. For that, ACN stock makes for a solid long-term bet.
Do you also want to take advantage of this booming company but are still hesitant – we have you covered. Below, we cover the company’s basics, check the latest ACN stock performance and discover what the Accenture share price forecast for 2020 and beyond looks like.
Accenture company overview: how does it differ?
Before diving into the ACN share price forecast, let us do a quick recap on this worldwide consulting behemoth by answering the questions: “What is Accenture and why does it matter?”
With its name derived from "Accent on the future", Accenture began as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen in the early 1950s. Through the years, this Irish-domiciled business has grown into a multinational professional services company with 477,000 people working at 226 offices, 50 delivery centres and 100 innovation facilities.
The business offers a wide range of services and solutions in consulting, strategy, digital, technology and operations. Combining specialised skills and deep experience across more than 40 industries, Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help its clients improve performance.
Presently, the company’s main focus is on expanding its expertise in three key technology areas: security, cloud and digital. Its management refers to these growth areas as "the New," and invests in them heavily to ensure that the business remains the go-to consultant for each. For that, its clients have hands-on access to transformative emerging technologies like blockchain, robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Today, Accenture serves clients in more than 120 different countries, including, among others, the US, Canada, UK, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan and Thailand. In fact, its list of customers includes more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.
The company also makes extensive use of partnerships to expand its market presence and win new customers, guaranteeing revenue growth for many years ahead. The most prominent names include Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), HP (HPQ), Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL), WorkDay (WDAY) and Apple (AAPL).
What makes Accenture even more up-to-date? The company is now the leader in environmental, social, and governance (ESG), which is an investing strategy used by investors seeking to align their portfolio with their personal values. In its own words, the business is engaged in advancing sustainability and strives to “accelerate the global shift to a low-carbon economy and reduce the effects of climate change.”
ACN stock analysis: success through the years
Let us have a look at the Accenture share price trend since the company’s IPO in 2001:
On 19 July 2001, Accenture went public on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s stock was valued at $14.50 per share, closing the first trading session at $15.17. On the day of its IPO, the business raised about $1.7bn.
Over the following years, with the exception of occasional, short-lived negative fluctuations, the Accenture stock (ACN) has mainly been in the uptrend. In 2017, its shares gained 31 per cent in comparison to the S&P 500, which climbed 19.4 per cent.
The next year, however, brought some turbulence to the business. In 2018, ACN stock lost 8 per cent, whereas the S&P 500 shed only 7.5 per cent.
Right after falling as low as $133.6 on December 24, 2018, the company has finally gained another upside momentum, skyrocketing to its record high of $212.95 in one year. At this point, the share price had grown over 1,368 per cent since its IPO.
According to Accenture share price history, the stock delivered 135 per cent growth over the past five years, while the S&P 500 could only offer a 58 per cent increase. That is no mean feat in a time when many tech giants are struggling due to Brexit troubles and the China-US trade tensions.
At the time of writing, January 27, 2020, ACN stock traded at $205.85, which is 28.6 times trailing earnings and 31 times free cash flows. With Accenture market cap standing well over $135bn, the company has captured a 4.5 per cent market share of the $1trn global IT services industry.
What is up: the latest ACN stock news
On December 19, 2019, Accenture reported financial results, covering the first quarter of the fiscal year 2020. The company outperformed Wall Street's estimates across the board, with its stock continuing the upward rally since the report was released.
Based on the Accenture recent news, the company experiences growing demand for digital, cloud and security-related services on the consulting and outsourcing fronts. In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, the revenues from these two business segments increased 7 per cent year over year.
Acquisitions have been one of the key growth strategies for Accenture, allowing the business to broaden and diversify its product portfolio, enter new markets and maintain its leading position. And while the year just started, the company has already completed the acquisition of the US-based data consultancy Clarity Insights. Moreover, on January 7, Accenture has agreed to acquire Germany’s Mahiro GmbH and Symantec’s Cyber Security Services business from Broadcom Inc. (AVGO).
Accenture share price forecast: will it continue its glorious rally?
Accenture is arguably the largest management consulting firm worldwide, as well as one of the industry’s dominant brand names. Considering the company’s latest investments and acquisitions, many experts predict it is set for long-term growth.
Let us check out what some of the latest Accenture stock price forecasts look like.
According to CNN Business, 23 analysts have offered their own 12-month Accenture stock outlook. They have set a median target of $225, with a low estimate of $200 and a high estimate of $240. The current consensus among the analysts is to buy the stock.
Popular forecasting service Wallet Investor offers an optimistic prediction, referring to the company's stock as a “good long-term investment”. Considering their Accenture share forecast, the stock is expected to trade at $348.344 by the end of January 2025. Therefore, if you decide to invest in it today, the revenue in five years is predicted to be around +68.62 per cent.
Here is what their ACN stock prediction looks like today:
MarketBeat has compiled a list of the latest analyst views of the Accenture stock future:
Gov Capital offers the most bullish outlook of all. Based on an internal deep learning algorithm, they have prognosed Accenture stock to reach a whopping $1,202.85 in five-years’ time. Here is what their one-year forecast looks like:
Technical Accenture stock analysis from Tradingview.com shows real-time ratings for the company for one month. Here are the results:
The bottom line
Based on the latest Accenture share predictions, the chances are the company may bring some substantial growth to your portfolio in the near future. However, just like any other investment, it can give no guarantee of financial success.
If you think you are not ready to make long-term investment commitments, but still want to try to profit from the price volatility, you can do so through contracts for difference (CFD) trading. Learn more about CFD trading with free online courses provided by Capital.com.
So, what are your bets on the Accenture share price forecast? Will Accenture shares continue to soar in 2020?
Make your own predictions based on the latest Accenture performance by checking out our comprehensive up-to-date chart.