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Prudential Ups Accenture Rating

Prudential upgraded Accenture (ACN) to overweight from neutral.

Analyst Bryan Keane says he has been waiting for clarification on a variable compensation issue, a pickup in gross margins, and a pickup in the consulting business. He says it looks as though variable compensation comps will not be as difficult going forward. He notes the company is able to accrue $93 million in the third quarter and still post signficiant EPS upside.

Also, Accenture saw gross margins widen. Keane says he has always liked the company and thinks of it as a blue-chip company. He raised the $1.14 fiscal 2004 (Aug.) EPS estimate to $1.23, and upped the $1.26 fiscal 2005 estimate to $1.44.

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