Accenture Predicts 2010 Recovery After Profit Fall

Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture reported a fall in quarterly profit Thursday, but gave a stronger-than-expected outlook for the fiscal year that began in September, supporting the view that corporate spending was recovering.

Accenture's diluted net income for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Aug. 31 fell to $301.4 million, or 39 cents a share, from $543.1 million, or 67 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding restructuring charges, earnings fell to 63 cents a share, which was in line with the average analyst forecast according to Reuters Estimates.

For fiscal 2010, the company forecast earnings per share of $2.64 to $2.72, compared with $2.44 in the previous year. Analysts had expected $2.75, according to Reuters Estimates.

Accenture has fared relatively well amid a global economic slowdown due to solid demand for its outsourcing services, but many customers have been slowing the pace of ongoing projects and deferring large commitments to consulting projects.

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