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Huron Consulting Group Announces First Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Stocks in this article: HURN

Huron Consulting Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HURN), a leading provider of business consulting services, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014.

“Our clients continue to face a complex and uncertain environment, both strategically and operationally. Our ability to provide value to clients as they navigate these challenges is reflected in another strong quarter,” said James H. Roth, chief executive officer and president, Huron Consulting Group. “We are pleased with our first quarter results highlighted by the strength of our Huron Healthcare and Huron Legal segments, and we see opportunities for continued growth across all of our businesses.”

First Quarter 2014 Results

Revenues for the first quarter of 2014 were $210.7 million, an increase of 28.5% compared to $164.0 million for the first quarter of 2013. The Company's first quarter 2014 operating income was $41.8 million, compared to $21.3 million in the first quarter of 2013. Net income from continuing operations was $34.1 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $11.4 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the same period last year. Included in first quarter 2014 results is a one-time tax benefit of $10.2 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, resulting from the Company’s “check-the-box” election to treat one of its wholly-owned foreign subsidiaries as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes during the quarter just ended.

First quarter 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") (5) was $49.0 million, or 23.2% of revenues, compared to $26.8 million, or 16.3% of revenues, in the comparable quarter last year.

In addition to using EBITDA to evaluate the Company’s financial performance, management uses non-GAAP financial measures, which exclude the effect of the following items (in thousands):

  Three Months Ended
March 31,
2014   2013
Amortization of intangible assets $ 2,518 $ 1,456
Restructuring charges $ 129 $
Litigation settlement gain $ $ (1,150 )
Tax effect $ (1,059 ) $ (122 )
Net tax benefit related to “check-the-box” election $ (10,244 ) $

Adjusted EBITDA (5) was $49.1 million, or 23.3% of revenues, in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $25.6 million, or 15.6% of revenues, in the comparable quarter last year. Adjusted net income (5) from continuing operations was $25.5 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $11.6 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the comparable period in 2013.

The average number of full-time billable consultants (1) increased 14.5% to 1,719 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 1,501 in the same quarter last year. Full-time billable consultant utilization rate (2) was 74.1% during the first quarter of 2014 compared with 77.9% during the same period last year. Average billing rate per hour for full-time billable consultants (3) was $251 for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $212 for the first quarter of 2013. The average number of full-time equivalent professionals (4) increased 27.4% to 1,511 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 1,186 for the comparable period in 2013.

Operating Segments

Huron’s results reflect a portfolio of service offerings focused on helping clients address complex business challenges.

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