Corporate Executive Board Net Rises

Profits top estimates.
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Corporate Executive Board

(EXBD)

, a provider of strategy analysis services to companies, reported a 25.2% rise in profits for the fourth quarter.

The company earned $21.3 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with $17 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 51 cents a share.

Revenue in the fourth quarter grew 29.4% from a year ago to $99.8 million, reflecting an increase in member institutions from 2363 to 2831 in the fourth quarter of 2005. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating $98.2 million.

The company's guidance for earnings in 2006 is $1.80 to $1.84 a share, with revenue rising by at least 25%, to $454 million. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, the company expects to earn $2.22 a share. The Wall Street consensus estimate was for earnings of $2.09 a share.

The company is increasing its quarterly dividend to 30 cents a share from 10 cents a share payable on Mar. 31, 2006. The company also announced that its board authorized additional share repurchases of up to $150 million.

"Underpinning our strong revenue and contract value growth was success across our key growth metrics," the company said. "The client renewal rate for the full year 2005 was 92%, once again attesting to the fundamental strength of the CEB membership value proposition. Three of our other four growth drivers, cross sales, new client growth, and new programs continued to run at or above the high end of our annual target ranges."

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