For Investors, Steady Growth Beats an Exciting Story

Sometimes the most boring businesses turn out to be the most profitable. Although this doesn’t happen often, there’s no question that a good investment opportunity is a good investment opportunity — regardless of what industry it’s in.

Consider, for a moment, Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ/HURN). Now, please don’t dismiss the consulting business as unattractive. It may be boring, but, especially in this company’s case, it is very profitable.

Huron Consulting is in the business of selling advice on litigation, investigations, regulatory compliance, procurement, financial distress, and other areas. The company sells its professional services to Fortune 500 companies, mid-cap companies, healthcare organizations, academic institutions, and law firms.

According to the company, its revenues for the third quarter of 2006 were $75.2 million, representing impressive growth of 39% over revenues of $54.3 million generated in the third quarter of 2005.

Net income for the period was $6.8 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $3.8 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, generated in the same quarter last year.

Company management cited that it is experiencing “strong demand” for all its services. Third quarter revenue growth was driven by an increase in business at the company’s Disputes and Investigations, Galt & Company, Higher Education, and Legal Business Consulting divisions.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2006, the company’s revenues grew 35% to $205.2 million.

Net income was $18.7 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, for the nine-month period, as compared to net income of $13.3 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, generated in the comparable period last year.

Going forward, Huron Consulting expects its fourth quarter revenues to come in between $79 million and $81 million, with diluted earnings per share between $0.42 and $0.45.

Huron Consulting is not the kind of company that makes you jump up and down with excitement. It is, however, the kind of company that is a steady grower, operating in a business that’s always in demand.