Why Accenture Stock Wilted on Wednesday

The company is on a bit of a spending spree and not everyone is happy about it.

Accenture (ACN -2.63%) is on a shopping spree, and at least some investors are probably wishing it would put away its credit card. On Wednesday, the business consultancy and services company announced its third acquisition in as many days. The market reacted by trading Accenture’s stock down by almost 3%, a steeper tumble than the S&P 500 index’s sub-1% slide.

Three acquisitions in three days

Wednesday’s acquisition target for Accenture was U.K.-based customer-engagement agency Unlimited. The buyer did not disclose any details of the deal, including its price. It did say that the privately held business would become part of its rapidly expanding Accenture Song unit.

That’s the latest in a trio of deals for overseas businesses the company has signed over the past few days. On Monday, Accenture said it is now the owner of management and tech consultancy Axis Corporate, which specializes in financial services. Axis’ workforce will be integrated into Accenture’s strategy and consulting practice.

Also on Monday, Japanese systems integration-services provider Climb joined the Accenture family. Climb’s 200 or so engineers are to become part of Accenture’s technology wing.

As with Unlimited, Accenture was mum on the pricing and details of the Axis and Climb purchases.

Uncomfortable memories

When a company makes a major move like acquiring a new asset, investors like to have as much information as possible about the deal (or at least its price).

That’s likely a factor behind the Wednesday sell-off as is another item fresh in the minds of Accenture-watchers — the company’s latest earnings report. Towards the end of March, it published its second-quarter results, and while it topped analyst-profitability estimates, revenue guidance was lowered. Investors might be concerned that it’s spending at a time when it could be figuring out ways of squeezing more revenue from the assets it already holds.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Accenture Plc. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2025 $290 calls on Accenture Plc and short January 2025 $310 calls on Accenture Plc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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