,IT consulting firm Accenture said on Thursday it has bounced back to pre-pandemic growth levels and raised its full-year revenue forecast as more businesses use its digital services to shift operations to the cloud. The company's shares rose 4.1% to $275.05 in premarket trading. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to expedite their move to the cloud, Accenture doubled down on its digital services by aggressively investing in the technology. The company, which has clients across industries, including health and financial services, acquired a number of cloud-focused ventures during the second quarter. "We have returned to overall pre-pandemic growth ahead of expectations while continuing to take market share faster than before the pandemic," Accenture Chief Executive Officer Julie Sweet said. For the second quarter, the company reported a record $16 billion in total new bookings, up 13% from a year earlier. "The return in demand to pre-pandemic levels is a trend reported by many other IT services companies ... all of these companies have a strong presence in digital (organic or via acquisitions)," Wedbush analyst Moshe Katri said. Accenture now expects full-year revenue to grow between 6.5% and 8.5% in local currency, compared to its previous outlook of 4% to 6%. Analysts had expected full-year revenue of $47.83 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Revenue rose 8.5% to $12.09 billion in the quarter ended Feb. 28, compared with analysts' estimates of $11.83 billion. On an adjusted basis, Accenture earned $2.03 per share, beating expectations of $1.90 per share. REUTERS
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