* Q1 EPS $0.12 vs est $0.22
* Q1 revenue down 8 pct
* Sees pick-up in demand for consulting
* Shares up 9 pct
(Adds details from conference call, background, share
April 29 Huron Consulting Group Inc (HURN.O)
reported a larger-than-expected fall in quarterly profit,
weighed down by its health and education consulting segment,
but the company is still hopeful of meeting its financial
targets for 2010.
"We are conscious of the pick up in revenue over the last
three quarters that will be necessary for us to achieve
guidance," a company executive said on a conference call. "We
remain confident with our guidance."
Shares of the Chicago-based company rose as much as 9
percent in morning trade on Nasdaq.
Huron said it was "cautiously optimistic" about the
performance of its health and education, and financial
consulting segments in the quarters to come and expects revenue
to pick up despite a slow start.
The company expects increased demand for its consulting
services in the healthcare sector due to the healthcare
reforms, and sees accounting services remaining strong for the
rest of the year.
Net income for the first quarter was $2.5 million, or 12
cents a share, compared with $7.1 million, or 35 cents a share,
in the year-ago period. Earnings from continuing operations
were 14 cents a share.
Analysts expected the company to earn 22 cents a share,
including options expense, according to Thomson Reuters
Revenue was $138.9 million, trailing analysts' view of
$141.9 million. Revenue from the company's health and education
consulting -- its largest segment -- fell 16 percent to $76.9
Marginal pick-up in demand in higher education practices
and delayed starts in certain projects dragged the company's
revenue from health and education consulting segment, Huron
The quarter also saw a 20 percent fall in revenue from the
company's financial consulting segment -- an area which was
expected to benefit from the increase in number of
investigations and restructuring stemming from the financial
For 2010, the company expects adjusted earnings of $2 to
$2.20 a share, on revenue of $600 million to $640 million. GAAP
earnings per share from continuing operations is seen at $1.55
Analysts expect earnings of $1.67 a share on revenue of
The consulting firm competes with FTI Consulting Inc
(FCN.N), Navigant Consulting Inc (NCI.N) and private players
like Ernst & Young [ERNY.UL] and PricewaterhouseCoopers
[PWC.UL], among others.
The company, founded by two dozen partners from the
collapsed accounting firm Arthur Andersen, was rocked by an
accounting scandal last July, forcing the top management to
Shares of the company were up $2.02 at $24.13 in morning trade
Thursday on Nasdaq. Excluding Thursday's gains, the stock has
lost 5 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.
(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Anne
Pallivathuckal, Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)