Where Outsourcing Equals At-Home Profits
Cramer on Tuesday had a message for viewers: Don’t get caught up in the negativity ruling this market. Otherwise, you could miss some real “gems,” as he called them.
Union Pacific , which Cramer highlighted on Monday, is one such gem. This rail’s strong performance of late has proved that it ain’t all doom and gloom for the US economy. Well, there’s another company that’s saying much the same thing: Accenture, a global consulting and outsourcing firm.
On the consulting side, Accenture works with software vendors like SAP , Siebel and Microsoft to help fit applications into their customers’ technology infrastructure. As an outsourcer, the company helps clients save money by sending information technology operations and other business processes to out-of-house vendors. And guess what? The race to save money has led to clients spending money. And that in turn leads to the kind of flowing cash needed to fuel a recovery.
It’s all in Accenture’s latest quarter. Despite analysts expecting the worst, the company beats their earnings and revenue estimates and upped its guidance for earnings, margins and currency for fiscal 2010. Accenture also reaffirmed its guidance for both revenue and earnings-per-share growth for fiscal 2011.
What Cramer really liked, though, was management’s optimism on the conference call: “We’re very pleased with our performance in 3Q, which showed positive growth, strong overall results, and building momentum in our business. Equally exciting, we see increasing demand for many of our new services and offerings across both management consulting and technology.”
“Building momentum, increasing demand – that should help pierce some of the fog of pessimism,” Cramer said, “that’s enshrouded this market.”
Accenture never mentioned any concerns about a slowdown in China or Europe’s financial problems. In fact, the company noted a pickup in activity on the Continent. At the same time, total bookings – a key metric – came in better than expected, as did operating and gross margins. There’s $4.2 billion of net cash on the balance sheet, $200 million more than the And, like Union Pacific, Accenture is putting people back to work.
“You don’t hire if you think business is getting worse,” Cramer said.
As for the stock itself, ACN is down 13% from its 2010 high and trading at 13.2 times 2011 earnings, though it fetched 18 times earnings before the recession. Cramer thinks that, with the company’s prospects on the rise, that Accenture could work its way back to that higher multiple.
“This is still a tough, volatile market, but not every company out there is doing horribly,” Cramer said. “Some of them are actually doing better. That’s why we want to buy gloom-busters like Accenture.”
When this story published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned Accenture.
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