Navigant Surpasses Estimates

Zacks

Navigant Consulting Inc. (NCI) reported strong fourth-quarter 2012 results with net income of $13.5 million or 26 cents per share compared with $11.1 million or 21 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings per share came in at 31 cents versus 22 cents in the year-ago quarter, representing a 40.9% year-over-year increase. Adjusted earnings for the reported quarter exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents.

For full year 2012, the company reported net income of $46.2 million or 90 cents per share compared to $41.1 million or 80 cents in the previous year. Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings per share for 2012 stood at 98 cents compared to 84 cents in the preceding year.

Navigant’s total revenue grew 14.4% year over year to $225.4 million in the reported quarter. Revenues before reimbursements (:RBR) climbed 13.7% year over year to $194.3 million with healthy revenue growth across all business segments. Consultant utilization rate in the quarter was 75% versus 74% in the year-ago period.

For full year 2012, total revenue increased 7.6% year over year to $844.6 million, while RBR climbed 6.9% to $743.4 million. However, consultant utilization rate for the year dipped 2.6% to 75%.

Segment Performance

The Healthcare segment's revenue rose 18.8% year over year to $47.4 million in fourth quarter 2012, driven by strong demand in the field of healthcare as well as life science practices. The Energy segment revenue grew 12.2% to $29.3 million, aided by increased energy efficient engagements and rise in market research and subscription offerings.

Disputes, Investigations & Economics segment revenue increased 1.2% year over year to $91.5 million on higher utilization in the Economics business, improved performance in Europe and margin improvement initiatives.

Financial, Risk & Compliance Advisory registered a year-over-year rise of 40.7% to $57.2 million in the reported quarter, propelled by several large mortgage servicing review engagements.

Liquidity

At year-end 2012, Navigant had $1.1 million of cash and cash equivalents compared to $3.0 million in the year-ago period. Long-term debt at the end of the year stood at $134 million. The company repurchased 582,000 shares during fourth quarter 2012 at an average price of $10.66 per share, bringing its tally for the year to 1.6 million shares.

Outlook

For full year 2013, Navigant expects total revenue to be in the range of $820 million to $880 million with solid growth in Healthcare and Energy segments. Adjusted earnings per share are expected in the range of 95 cents to $1.10.

We remain encouraged by the healthy earnings projection of Navigant, which competes with the industry giants such as CoreLogic, Inc. (CLGX), CRA International Inc. (CRAI), and Corporate Executive Board Co. (CEB), each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Navigant also currently retains a Zacks Rank #1.

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