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Accenture forecasts first-quarter revenue below estimates as dollar weighs

(Reuters) - Global IT consulting giant Accenture Plc blamed a stronger dollar as it forecast first-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates on Thursday.

The outsourcing services provider, which reported a quarterly earnings beat, is exposed to currency fluctuations as it serves clients in more than 120 countries.

Accenture forecast first-quarter revenue in the range of between $10.9 billion and $11.2 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $11.26 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company said it expected full-year earnings in the range of between $7.62 per share and $7.84 per share, below the average estimate of $7.96.

Accenture has shifted its focus to offering digital and cloud services, which include everything from managing clients’ social media marketing strategies to helping them move to the cloud, to boost margins.

Revenue from digital, cloud and security-related services, which the company calls “the New”, constituted about 65% of its total revenue in the fourth quarter.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $1.13 billion, or $1.74 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Aug. 31, from $1.03 billion, or $1.58 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.71 per share.

Revenue rose 5.3% to $11.06 billion, but missed the average estimate of $11.08 billion.

Shares of the company, which have gained more than 35% this year, were last down 0.5% at $190 in premarket trading. They had slipped as much as 3% earlier.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila