UPDATE 1-Accenture revenue beats estimates as consulting business grows
* Forecasts first-quarter revenue $7 bln-$7.3 bln vs est $7.39 bln
* Fourth-quarter earnings $1.01/share in line with estimates
* Revenue $7.09 bln vs est $6.9 bln
(Compares with analysts' estimates, adds details)
Sept 26 (Reuters) - Accenture Plc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as income in its bigger business, consulting, rose after four quarters of decline, but the company forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates.
Shares of the outsourcing and consulting services provider were down 3.4 percent in extended trading.
Accenture said it expects first-quarter revenue of $7 billion-$7.3 billion. The forecast assumes a 2 percent hit related to currency fluctuations.
Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $7.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Smaller rival Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp last month raised its full-year forecast, saying clients in North America were investing more in IT services and software encouraged by a steady economic recovery.
Accenture's clients cut back on discretionary IT spending, delayed deals and signed fewer large contracts for most of last year. Its clients include London's Heathrow Airport, Nokia Oyj , Baker Hughes Inc and AstraZeneca UK.
Net income rose to $727.3 million, or $1.01 per share, in the fourth quarter from $636.2 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 4 percent to $7.09 billion. Consulting revenue grew 2 percent to $3.8 billion.
Analysts had expected earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $6.9 billion.
The company said it authorized a $5 billion share buyback program, taking the outstanding repurchase authority to about $7 billion.
Accenture shares closed at $75.87 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)