Demand from North America drives Accenture results

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Accenture, a provider of consulting and outsourcing services, reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, helped by strong demand in North America.

However, the company forecast first-quarter revenue below analysts' average estimate, due mainly to a stronger dollar.

Accenture forecast revenue of between $7.70 billion and $7.95 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $8.11 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Accenture, whose shares were little changed in premarket trading on Thursday, also said its board approved a $5 billion share buyback.

Revenue in Accenture's outsourcing business rose 9 percent in local currency terms, while consulting business revenue rose 14 percent.

The consulting business accounts for a little more than half of Accenture's total revenue, while its outsourcing unit contributes the rest.

Net revenue rose 1.4 percent to $7.89 billion.

Net income rose to $788.1 million, or $1.15 per share, in the three months ended Aug. 31, from $760.2 million, or $1.08 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.12 per share and revenue of $7.68 billion.