UPDATE 2-Navigant Consulting sees '10 profit below Street

Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:31pm EST

* Sees 2010 EPS $0.75-$0.85 vs est $0.89

* Sees 2010 rev between $700-$750 mln vs est $748.2 mln

* Says "not uncomfortable" with 2011 earnings estimates.

* Sees "flattish" Q1 earnings

* Shares fall 13 percent (Adds conference call details, updates share movement)

Feb 18 (Reuters) - Navigant Consulting Inc (NCI.N), a financial and regulatory consultancy firm, forecast 2010 earnings below market expectations, after posting in-line fourth-quarter adjusted profit, sending its shares down 13 percent.

On a post-earnings conference call, the company said it expects 2010 earnings to be 75 cents to 85 cents a share. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 89 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company sees total revenue for the year of $700 million to $750 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $748.2 million.

"We are going to make growth investments and as the year progresses, those growth investments will increasingly impact our results," Chief Executive William Goodyear said on the call.

Goodyear said he was "not uncomfortable" with 2011 earnings estimates. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.09 for 2010.

Navigant expects first-quarter revenue to be up modestly on a sequential basis and "flattish" earnings compared with last year.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of $4.8 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $11.3 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding the impact from severance and other operating costs, the company earned 18 cents a share.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 18 cents a share.

Operating expenses fell more than 19 percent.

Shares of the company were down 12 percent at $12.59 in afternoon trade Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Archana Shankar and Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Gopakumar Warrier)

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