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With Surge in AI-Related Bookings, Accenture Stocks Zoom Up

Accenture (ACN) saw its shares climb on Thursday following the release of its third-quarter results, which revealed that profits exceeded expectations and highlighted a surge in artificial intelligence (AI)-related bookings.

The consulting giant reported revenue of $16.47 billion for the quarter, slightly down from $16.56 billion in the same period last year and just shy of the $16.55 billion forecasted by analysts according to Visible Alpha.

Despite the slight revenue dip, Accenture’s net income surpassed estimates. The company posted a profit of $1.93 billion, translating to $3.04 per share. This was lower than last year’s figures of $2.01 billion and $3.15 per share but beat analysts’ expectations of $1.91 billion and $3.01 per share.

Accenture highlighted the success of its AI initiatives, with new bookings in generative AI exceeding $900 million for the quarter, bringing the total AI-related bookings for the fiscal year to $2 billion.

New bookings overall reached $21.06 billion, marking a 22% increase compared to the same period last year. Of these bookings, 44% came from consulting services, while the remaining 56% were from Accenture’s managed services division.

CEO Julie Sweet underscored the significance of these achievements, stating, “We also achieved two significant milestones this quarter — with $2 billion in Generative AI sales year-to-date and $500 million in revenue year-to-date — which demonstrate our early lead in this critical technology.”

In addition to its financial performance, Accenture announced plans to pay a quarterly dividend of $1.29 per share on August 15 to shareholders of record on July 11. The company also repurchased $1.4 billion of its own stock during the quarter and has $3.3 billion remaining in its current buyback plan.

Looking ahead, Accenture provided a revenue outlook for the fourth quarter ranging from $16.05 billion to $16.65 billion, compared to analyst expectations of $16.54 billion. For the full fiscal year, Accenture adjusted its revenue growth guidance to between 1.5% and 2.5%, narrowing the previous range of 1% to 3%. The company also revised its full-year diluted earnings per share (EPS) guidance to a range of $11.29 to $11.44, down from the earlier forecast of $11.41 to $11.64, citing challenges in the macroeconomic environment and reduced client discretionary spending.