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Accenture revenue forecast tops estimates on cloud, security services demand

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FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows a smartphone with displayed Accenture PLC logo
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By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -IT consulting firm Accenture Plc forecast better-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Thursday, as more clients seek its cloud and security services, sending its shares up more than 10% in premarket trade.

Client spending, which rebounded last fiscal year to pre-pandemic levels due to a shift to hybrid working models, has stayed strong with Accenture reporting robust bookings of $16.8 billion in the reported quarter, up 30% from a year earlier.

"This is the direct result of having executed for years a strategy to rotate our business to digital, cloud and security," Accenture Chief Executive Officer Julie Sweet said.

Analysts expect investments in these segments by the company, which hired 50,000 people during the quarter, to generate long-term benefits and help it compete better with peers Cognizant and Infosys for market share in a booming sector.

This strong industry-wide growth will likely be sustainable, as the pandemic helped create a multi-year IT spending cycle, Wedbush Securities analyst Moshe Katri said.

Shares of the Dublin, Ireland-based company have outperformed the S&P 500 Index this year, thanks to increased spending on digitization and cloud adoption.

Accenture now expects full-year revenue to grow between 19% and 22% from 12% to 15% forecast earlier.

Revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 30 jumped 27% to $14.97 billion, compared with analysts' average estimate of $14.19 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Accenture said it expects current-quarter revenue between $14.30 billion and $14.75 billion, compared with analysts' average estimate of $14.09 billion.

The company earned $2.78 per share during the first quarter. Analysts had expected a profit of $2.63 per share.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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