Salomon Starts Coverage of Accenture with 'Buy'

Analyst Patrick Burton sees revenue growth for the consulting firm climbing above its peers

Salomon Smith Barney initiated coverage of Accenture (ACN ) with buy.

Analyst Patrick Burton says the portfolio provider has broad geographic and vertical diversification. He notes growth in outsourcing services may enhance the counter cyclical aspects of Accenture's growth rate. He notes the differentiated market position based on scale, relationships, capabilities and brand.

Burton anticipates that the mixed economic outlook may moderate near-term growth. He sees revenue growth above that of the industry, which suggests 13% or more growth, with EPS growth of 15% -- achievable over three to five years. Burton sees $11.2 billion in revenues and $0.81 EPS for fiscal 2001 (August). For fiscal 2002, he sees $11.7 billion in revenues and $0.85 EPS. Burton has a $19 target.

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