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Accenture shares rise after quarterly estimates beat, strength in new bookings

People enter an Accenture office in downtown Helsinki, Finland.
Jussi Nukari | AFP | Getty Images
People enter an Accenture office in downtown Helsinki, Finland.

Shares of Accenture jumped more than 4 percent Thursday after the consulting firm reported quarterly earnings above estimates, helped by strength in new bookings and expansion in profit margins.

The consulting firm posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $1.31 per share on revenue of $8.48 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.30 a share on revenue of $8.43 a share, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

"For the year, we delivered double-digit revenue growth in local currency and gained significant market share, generated strong new bookings, expanded operating margin, and delivered outstanding earnings per share," Pierre Nanterme, Accenture's chairman and CEO, said in a press release.

He continued, "We also generated excellent free cash flow and returned more than $4 billion in cash to our shareholders."

The chief executive said the company will continue to focus on digital, cloud and security services, which accounted for about 40 percent of its revenue in fiscal 2016.

Accenture's Board of Directors said it declared a semi-annual cash dividend of $1.21 per share, an increase of 11 cents per share, or 10 percent, over its previous semi-annual dividend, declared in March.

The company expects, for fiscal year 2017, net revenue growth in the range of between 5 percent and 8 percent and earnings in the range of between $5.75 a share and $5.98 a share.

Accenture's stock is up more than 16 percent year to date.

ACN 2016 Chart