Accenture Plc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as the consulting and outsourcing services provider gained from its push into digital and cloud services. The company also forecast current-quarter revenue between $9.15 billion and $9.40 billion, the low end of which was in line with analysts' estimates. Digital, cloud and security services accounted for more than half of the company's revenue, Accenture Chief Executive Pierre Nanterme said in a statement. Accenture has spent about $3.4 billion on nearly 70 acquisitions in the past three years, half of which was spent in the financial year 2017 alone as it ramped up its digital and cloud-related businesses. The company has also been grabbing market share from rivals, including Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp and IBM Corp. Dublin-based Accenture said it expected the annual tax rate to be in the range of 22 per cent to 24 per cent, compared with its prior expectation of 23 per cent to 25 per cent, adding that the forecast did not include the potential impact from the US tax reform. The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives gave final approval to the tax bill on Wednesday, which cuts the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, and sent it to US President Donald Trump for his signature. Net income for diluted earnings per share calculation rose to $1.17 billion in the first quarter ended Nov. 30 from $1.05 billion a year earlier.
On a per-share basis, it reported a profit of $1.79. Analysts on average were expecting $1.67 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Net revenue rose nearly 12 per cent to $9.52 billion, beating estimates of $9.26 billion.