(Reuters) -IT services firm Accenture Plc forecast first-quarter revenue below expectations on Thursday, weighed down by IT spending cuts amid high inflation and a stronger dollar.
Foreign exchange headwinds have intensified since Accenture’s third-quarter results, with the U.S. dollar at a two-decade high against a basket of currencies and up about 16% so far this year amid sharp Fed rate hikes and rising geopolitical tensions.
This has impacted companies with significant overseas operations including Microsoft, Salesforce and IBM.
Accenture, which has diversified offerings across segments including cloud and security, reported new bookings of $18.40 billion for the fourth quarter.
But the company expects a near 6% hit to its results in fiscal 2023 compared with a year earlier due to a stronger greenback, which typically eats into profits of IT companies that convert foreign currencies into dollars.
In a silver lining, analysts have said digital transformation projects largely remain non-discretionary thus cushioning companies such as Accenture from a much severe impact from any spending cut by businesses.
Accenture, which generates more than half of its revenue from outside the United States, said it expects annual earnings per share of $11.09 to $11.41, compared with estimates of $11.96, according to data from Refinitiv.
The company forecast current-quarter revenue between $15.20 billion and $15.75 billion, accounting for an 8.5% negative foreign-exchange impact. Analysts had estimated it at $16.07 billion.
Revenue for the quarter ended Aug.31 was largely in line with estimates at $15.40 billion. Earnings of $2.60 per share beat estimates of $2.57.
The company also said its board had authorized an additional $3 billion in share repurchases.
(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)