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Accenture Bets on Acquisitions to Secure Its Future

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Accenture’s revenue rose 7.0%

Accenture (ACN) reported results for its first quarter of fiscal 2019 on December 20. The company’s revenue increased 7.0% YoY to $10.6 billion. It made a profit of $1.3 billion in that quarter, which ended on November 30. The profit rose 9.0% YoY.

Wipro Limited (WIT) and Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) reported a revenue increase of 8.3% YoY each for the quarter ending in September. SAP (SAP) and Infosys (INFY) grew their revenues by 7.7% and 7.1% YoY, respectively, in the September quarter. IBM’s (IBM) revenue declined 2.1% YoY in the September quarter.

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Accenture may spend $1.5 billion on acquisitions

According to Accenture, it spent $200 million to purchase nine small companies during the first quarter. Those were mostly bolt-on acquisitions to bolster its capabilities in strategic high-growth areas. Accenture expects to continue making strategic acquisitions, saying it may spend as much as $1.5 billion on acquisitions in fiscal 2019.

In recent years, Accenture has shifted its focus to cloud and digital services. The company invested billions of dollars in strategic acquisitions in the past five years to strengthen its competitive position in these areas.

$1.7 billion returned to shareholders

Accenture generated $950 million of free cash flow in the first quarter. It returned $1.7 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends in the quarter. It exited the quarter with $4.4 billion of cash. IBM also has a share repurchase program with $5.4 billion available for repurchases under the existing authorization.

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