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Shares of Navigant Consulting Inc (NCI - Analyst Report) hit a 52-week high of $19.20 in the second half of the trading session on Nov 27. However, the stock closed the session at $19.12, which reflects a solid year-to-date return of 62.5%. The average trading volume over the last three months aggregated 189,934 shares.

Despite its strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock still has enough fundamentals that may further drive the stock upward. Investors remain upbeat as Navigant is also restructuring its business and has diligently reduced its operating expenses to improve profitability.

Growth Drivers

Impressive third quarter results, coupled with inorganic expansion and operational excellence are the primary driving factors for Navigant.

On Oct 29, Navigant reported third-quarter 2013 results; wherein adjusted earnings (excluding non-recurring items) increased to $12.5 million or 25 cents in the reported quarter from $11.6 million or 23 cents in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings for the reported quarter beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

The company is taking steps to restructure the business in order to better align the capacity with demand. Operating expenses have witnessed a decline in the last couple of years due to disciplined management of discretionary spending through reductions in staff, bad debt expenses, cost of services and amortization expenses.

In addition, Navigant is growing inorganically. The company has a solid pipeline of smaller acquisition and group-hire opportunities.

Navigant continues to strengthen its leadership in financial services, healthcare, and energy sectors, while optimizing the portfolio for sustainable and profitable growth.

Estimate Revisions

Over the last 30 days, 2 out of 3 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, which led to a 0.9% increase in the Zacks Consensus Estimate to $1.04 per share. For 2014, 2 out of 3 estimates moved upward, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 3.6% to $1.15 per share.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other stocks that look promising in the industry and are worth a look at present include CoreLogic, Inc. (CLGX - Snapshot Report), FTI Consulting, Inc. (FCN - Analyst Report) and Stantec Inc (STN - Snapshot Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)


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