Business Strategy and Consulting Company Provides 10% Dividend Payout Boost
By: Ned Piplovic,
The business strategy and consulting giant, Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), announced a 10% dividend payout boost to make 2017 its 12th consecutive year of dividend hikes.
Compared to its competitors, Accenture’s dividend yield currently outperforms the average yields of its peers in the Services sector and the Management Services segment. The company’s rising dividend income was accompanied by a 12% asset appreciation and an 14% total return over the past 12 months.
The company’s next ex-dividend is scheduled for October 18, 2017. The pay date will follow four weeks later, on November 15, 2017.
Accenture plc (NYSE:ACH)
Originally founded as the business and technology consulting division of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen in the early 1950s, Accenture plc provides business management, consulting, technology and outsourcing services worldwide. The company’s Communications, Media & Technology segment also provides professional services that help clients accelerate and deliver digital transformation. Additionally, the company provides industry-specific solutions for business enhancements and serves clients in the communications, electronics, high technology, media and entertainment industries. The company’s Financial Services segment helps clients improve cost efficiency, grow their customer base, manage risk and transform their operations. This segment also provides services for its clients in banking, capital markets and insurance industries. The Health & Public Service segment provides research-based insights and consulting services and digital solutions for health care payers and providers, as well as government departments and agencies, public service organizations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The Products segment helps clients enhance their performance in distribution, sales and marketing, research, development and manufacturing. This segment serves clients in the consumer goods, retail, travel services, automotive, freight and logistics, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other industries. Lastly, the company’s Resources segment helps clients to develop and implement new business strategies. Following a separation from Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative in 1989, Accenture plc was incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, where it is currently based.
For the current period, the company boosted its semi-annual dividend payout by 9.9% from the previous period’s $0.21 amount to $0.33. The current quarterly distribution is equivalent to a $2.66 total amount and a 2% dividend yield. Since starting to pay a dividend in 2005, the company enhanced its annual dividend distribution every year.
Over the past 12 consecutive years, the total annual dividend payout grew at an average rate of almost 20% per year. Because of this relatively high growth rate, the total annual dividend amount rose almost nine-fold in just a little more than a decade.
While the 2% yield is not as high as some other sectors, Accenture’s current yield outperformed the simple average yield of its peers in the Services sector by 1.39% and its peers in the Management Services segment by 13.8%.
The share price experienced some volatility and traded around $120 between early October 2016 and February 1, 2017, when it reached its 52-week low of $112.31. However, since the February low, the share price rose 23.5% to reach its 52-week high of $138.70 during trading on September 26, 2017, but closed at $136.84 at the end of that day’s trading. Since that price peak, the share price dropped 2.5% and closed on September 29, 2017, at $135.18, which is 11.8% higher than it was 12 months ago.
The combined dividend income and asset appreciation provided investors with 14.12% total returns over the past year, 79.00% over the past three years and 109.25% over the past five years.
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Ned Piplovic is the assistant editor of website content at Eagle Financial Publications. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy. Prior to joining Eagle, Ned spent 15 years in corporate operations and financial management. Ned writes for www.DividendInvestor.com and www.StockInvestor.com.