Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:NCI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $25.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 9.94% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Navigant outperformed the Consulting Services industry with an average loss of 0.4% compared with a 6.2% decline for the latter over a period of 30 days. The company continues to focus on cost-streamlining and restructuring activities to better align its capacity with market demand. Navigant expects its future growth to primarily come from expanded capabilities in the healthcare and energy sectors. It is presently developing data analytic tools across multiple groups to meet the growing demand for technology-enabled solutions. Navigant is also focusing on inorganic growth to expand its market presence and boost revenue as exemplified by the strategic acquisitions of Cymetrix Corporation and Ecofys. However, stiff competition, currency fluctuations and regulatory stringencies are likely to peg back its profitability to some extent. In addition, competition for skilled consultants is intense and retention-related issues continue to be headwinds.”

Shares of Navigant Consulting (NYSE:NCI) traded down 0.066% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $22.725. The stock had a trading volume of 67,648 shares. Navigant Consulting has a 52 week low of $15.07 and a 52 week high of $27.86. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $22.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $23.64. The stock has a market cap of $1.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.097 and a beta of 1.06.

Navigant Consulting (NYSE:NCI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 16th. The business services provider reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.27 by $0.03. The company earned $239.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $18.87 million. Navigant Consulting had a net margin of 6.12% and a return on equity of 10.03%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Navigant Consulting will post $1.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CEO Julie Howard sold 9,881 shares of Navigant Consulting stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.72, for a total value of $234,377.32. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 81,072 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,923,027.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Lee A. Spirer sold 46,391 shares of Navigant Consulting stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.96, for a total transaction of $1,065,137.36. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,749 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,165,197.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 58,272 shares of company stock valued at $1,299,695 in the last three months. Company insiders own 2.36% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Navigant Consulting by 1.1% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 19,100 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $437,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. First National Bank of Omaha raised its stake in Navigant Consulting by 22.2% in the first quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 68,630 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,569,000 after buying an additional 12,463 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in Navigant Consulting by 2,253.0% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 63,297 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,447,000 after buying an additional 60,607 shares during the last quarter. Foundry Partners LLC raised its stake in Navigant Consulting by 16.9% in the first quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 188,892 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $4,318,000 after buying an additional 27,297 shares during the last quarter. Finally, USA Financial Portformulas Corp acquired a new stake in Navigant Consulting during the fourth quarter valued at about $248,000. 90.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Navigant Consulting Company Profile

Navigant Consulting, Inc is a global professional services company. The Company serves clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. It operates through four segments. The Healthcare segment provides consulting services and business process management services. The Energy segment provides advisory solutions in business strategy and planning, distributed energy resources and renewables, energy efficiency and demand response and grid modernization The Financial Services Advisory and Compliance segment provides strategic, operational, valuation, risk management, investigative and compliance advisory services to clients primarily in the financial services industry.

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