Accenture Rallies Around 2Q Beat, Rosy View

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) received a 6% bump Friday morning as Wall Street cheered the consulting giant’s stronger-than-expected 26% rise in quarterly profits and newly-upgraded financial guidance.

The Dublin-based management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company said late Thursday it earned $566 million, or 75 cents a share, in its fiscal second quarter ending Feb. 28. A year earlier it earned $462 million, or 60 cents a share.

Non-GAAP revenue climbed to $6.1 billion, up from $5.2 billion.

Analysts had been calling for EPS of just 71 cents on $5.74 billion in revenue.

At the same time, Accenture hiked its fiscal 2011 outlook, saying it now sees EPS of $3.22 to $3.30 on revenue growth of 11% to 14%. Wall Street had only been expecting 2011 EPS of $3.11. Accenture also said it is still targeting new bookings of $25 billion to $28 billion.

Likewise, Accenture said it expects fiscal third-quarter revenue of $6.3 billion to $6.5 billion, which would easily surpass the Street’s view of $6.08 billion.

“We are very pleased with the continued momentum in our business, which enabled us to achieve strong results in the second quarter, “ CEO Pierre Nanterme said in a statement. “With quarterly bookings of $7 billion, including our second-highest consulting bookings ever, demand for our services remains strong, and our growth trajectory demonstrates that we continue to execute our business strategy extremely well.”

In the wake of Accenture’s earnings beat and rosy guidance, analysts at JPMorgan Chase, Barclays Capital and Susquehanna all boosted their price targets on the stock to as high as $65.

Shares of the Irish company jumped 5.62% to $54.87 Friday morning and climbed as high as a 52-week high of $56.78. The stock has gained 7.1% in 2011 and is up 25% from a year ago.