The cash-laden, debt-free consulting firm remains attractive despite the fact that demand for its services has declined as the recession deepens. Credit Suisse analyst Bryan Keane recently applauded Accenture's ability to sustain pricing, as well as its high free cash flow and low price to earnings ratio (the company is currently trading at 11 times trailing earnings, compared with an industry average of 14).
"With Accenture, you get better than average visibility because of its backlog," says Todd Ahlsten, manager of the Parnassus Equity Income Fund. "Their bookings have remained fairly strong, and they're part of a long-term secular growth trend -- solving other people's problems."
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