The Growth of Consulting Means New Highs for Stocks

Everyone knows that I like Huron Consulting Group Incorporated (NASDAQ/HURN), as I’ve written about this company a lot in this column. The stock just hit a new all-time high of over $70.00 per share; more than triple its value when the stock was first listed for trading.

This is truly amazing, considering this company is a consulting firm. Typically, we think technology stocks grow the fastest. Not in this case. Those billable hours sure add up quickly.

Huron Consulting was just listed for the first time in “BusinessWeek” magazine’s annual list of “Hot 100 Growth Companies.” The company was listed 22 in its debut.

I love these lists of hot growth companies. Several magazines publish these lists, and it’s a virtual certainty that if you research the companies on these lists, you’ll find some very attractive investment opportunities.

In the investment business, the past really is a decent indicator of the future.

Huron Consulting is now expensively priced on the stock market, and I’m not sure if I’d be a buyer of the stock now. I’d certainly think twice about hiring the company for any consulting work, because it is just too darned profitable!

It’s likely that this stock will keep ticking higher over the coming quarters because the company continues to expect significant growth in its business. In 2002, the company’s revenues were just $35 million. In 2006, those revenues ballooned to $289 million. That’s an eightfold increase in just four years. The CEO is to be commended.

I’m always on the lookout for another Huron Consulting investment opportunity. I want to find a company that’s growing significantly, has a track record of success, is a leader in its industry, and has a story that is attractive to institutional investors. If you come across one, let me know.