* Q4 adj EPS $0.58 vs est. $0.35
* Restoring base pay, 401(k) contribution
* Shares down 3 pct after rising 8 pct
(Adds conference call details, analyst comments; updates share
BANGALORE, Feb 23 Executive recruiter Heidrick
& Struggles International Inc (HSII.O) posted a
better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a rise in the
number of search confirmations, and forecast first-quarter
revenue above market expectations.
The company, which is anticipating more significant
contributions from financial services and leadership consulting
in 2010, said it is restoring the 5 percent base pay cut and
401(k) contributions, which had been suspended in 2009.
Demand for executive searches and talent consulting
services had been declining since the beginning of the economic
slowdown, which forced many employers to cut jobs and others to
hire fewer workers.
Heidrick & Struggles, which is one of the two publicly
traded executive search firms in the United States, forecast
first-quarter revenue of $110 million to $117 million. Analysts
were expecting revenue of $103.5 million, according to Thomson
For 2010, the company forecast revenue of $440 million to
$480 million, above analysts' expectations of $439.2 million.
However, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Tobey Sommer
believes the guidance, which suggested very little sequential
revenue improvement from the first quarter 2010 level, is
"Revenue has improved every month for the last six or seven
months, but their guidance doesn't assume any more
improvement," he said.
Shares of the company, which rose as much as 8 percent to
$31.38 in early morning trade Tuesday, were down 75 cents at
$28.34 on Nasdaq.
For the fourth quarter, the company, which competes with
companies such as Korn/Ferry International (KFY.N), posted net
income of $9.4 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with $5.3
million, or 30 cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company earned 58 cents, above
analysts' estimates of 35 cents a share, according to Thomson
Tax rate for the current quarter was 11.4 percent, much
lower than the year-ago 27.9 percent.
Net revenue fell 19 percent to $109.9 million. Analysts
were expecting revenue of $105.8 million.
The number of executive search confirmations in the quarter
increased 7.1 percent.
(Reporting by Amulya Nagaraj and A.Ananthalakshmi in
Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)