Bloomberg News

Greenhill Jumps After Posting Profit Surge: New York Mover

January 26, 2012

(Updates shares in second paragraph.)

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Greenhill & Co., the advisory firm founded by Robert Greenhill, rose the most since 2008 in New York trading after reporting an eightfold increase in profit.

Greenhill, based in New York, gained 12 percent to $49.36, the highest price since July 14, 2011.

Fourth-quarter net income increased to $16.1 million, or 53 cents a share, from $1.99 million, or 6 cents, a year earlier, the firm said yesterday in a statement. Greenhill, run by Chief Executive Officer Scott Bok, reported a 53 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue, driven by advisory fees that totaled $85.5 million in the period.

“Any market share loss seems to have stabilized,” Daniel Harris and Christopher Johnson, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said today in a note. They upgraded their recommendation to “neutral” from “sell.”

Greenhill’s net income was $20.4 million, or 67 cents, excluding a compensation charge connected to the accelerated vesting of restricted stock awards to two managing directors killed last month in a plane crash. Full-year profit excluding the charge increased 42 percent to $48.9 million.

Greenhill earned advisory revenue from 160 different clients in 2011, a 14 percent increase from 2010. The firm earned fees in excess of $1 million from 74 clients during the year, up from 57 in 2010.

Greenhill plummeted in the league tables after the collapse in December of AT&T Inc.’s agreement to purchase T-Mobile USA Inc. from Deutsche Telekom AG for $39 billion, a deal Greenhill was advising. AT&T abandoned the proposed takeover after the U.S. Justice Department sued to block the transaction and the Federal Communications Commission moved to oppose it.

The firm’s revenue growth “came despite quite a challenging M&A environment, which worsened materially starting in August,” Bok said yesterday on a conference call following results. “That strong growth also came in spite of some very important announced transactions we were involved in that failed to get to the finish line.”

--Editors: William Ahearn, Steve Dickson

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.


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