Greenhill Profit Exceeds Estimates as Advisory Fees Advance

Greenhill & Co., the New York-based advisory firm founded by Robert Greenhill, reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ expectations as fees from overseeing deals climbed by 51 percent.

Net income was $16.1 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $1.58 million, or 5 cents, a year earlier, the firm said today in a statement after the close of trading in New York. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 38 cents.

Greenhill, run by Chief Executive Officer Scott Bok, advised on $12.4 billion in announced and completed deals in the first quarter, an 11-fold surge from $1.11 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Advisory revenue rose to $73.3 million from $48.5 million a year earlier.

“We feel like the year got off to a decent start,” Bok said today on a conference call following results. “Our revenue opportunity for the full year is weighted toward the second half given the low level of deal announcements in recent months.”

Greenhill fell 54 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $38.32. The shares have gained 5.4 percent this year.

The jump in advisory fees, which Greenhill said was driven by an increase in the “scale and number of completed assignments,” helped fuel a 71 percent surge in total revenue to $82.7 million.

Compensation costs grew to $41.2 million, or 50 percent of revenue, from $36.2 million, or 75 percent, a year earlier. The firm is seeing a “surge” in recruiting opportunities and could add at least five senior bankers in the “near term,” Bok said on the call.

Greenhill last month hired Vikram Gandhi, previously the global head of the financial institutions group at Credit Suisse Group AG, as a senior adviser to expand the firm’s business in India and Asia.

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