The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Accenture plc, Pepco Holdings, Anheuser-Busch InBev., Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. and IBM

Aug 04, 2011, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN), Pepco Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POM), Anheuser-Busch InBev. (NYSE: BUD), Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (NYSE: BBVA) and IBM Inc. (NYSE: IBM).


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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Accenture to Serve Pepco Holdings

Accenture plc (NYSE: ACN) recently won a technology consulting deal from Pepco Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POM), better known as PHI, which is a renowned utility company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Per the deal terms, Accenture will offer its technology to set up an integrated Network Operations Center (NOC) for Pepco Holdings, one of the largest energy delivery companies in the mid-Atlantic region.

Accenture ensures support throughout the project period, starting from planning to designing, testing and implementation of the work process in the center. In addition, Accenture will train PHI staff on NOC's process development and implementation.

When fully implemented, NOC will provide PHI with a range of functional abilities such as fault notification and analysis, performance data management and capacity planning, and network access control and systems' authentication. With support from NOC, PHI will be able to identify problems on the electric system and resolve them much faster.

Accenture's rich industry experience gave Pepco Holdings the confidence to select its services. If successful, Accenture could win more such deals from other utility companies interested in making their businesses technologically more advanced.

Accenture has already tasted success in various sectors as well as geographical regions. In the past few months, the company has served CF Industries Holdings (a leading manufacturer and distributor of fertilizers), Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (NYSE: BBVA). Apart from these, Accenture has also gained a strong foothold in the insurance vertical.

We find Accenture's third quarter results encouraging, as both top and bottom lines strongly beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates. Based on improving business momentum and market share gains, Accenture raised its revenue and earnings guidance for fiscal 2011. Moreover, we are encouraged by the steady flow of new businesses and believe that the trend will continue.

However, increasing competition from IBM Inc. (NYSE: IBM) may temper growth prospects to some extent.

Currently, Accenture has a short-term Hold recommendation, denoted by the Zacks #3 Rank.

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