Evercore Climbs to 32-Month High as Profit Beats Estimates

Evercore Partners Inc., the investment bank founded by former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, rose to the highest price in more than 2 1/2 years as fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Evercore climbed 5.1 percent to close at $37.42 in New York, the highest since May 2010. The shares have advanced 24 percent this year, compared with the 5.6 percent gain of the 477-company Russell 2000 Financial Services Index.

Net income was $19 million, or 56 cents a share, after breaking even a year earlier, New York-based Evercore said today in a statement. Earnings excluding some items more than doubled to $35.3 million, or 81 cents, exceeding the 52-cent average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Adjusted net income for 2012 rose 24 percent to $78.1 million.

“The fourth quarter was a record for Evercore in every important respect,” Chief Executive Officer Ralph Schlosstein said on a conference call after earnings were released. “And 2012 was another record year, the fourth consecutive year of significantly increased net revenues and earnings.”

Global mergers-and-acquisitions volume in the fourth quarter reached the highest level since 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Evercore executives including Chief Financial Officer Robert Walsh have said the 2013 deal environment will be better than last year.

Adjusted net revenue in the fourth quarter surged 90 percent to $212 million from a year earlier. That was led by investment banking revenue, which more than doubled to $191.6 million. Investment management net revenue declined 4.3 percent to $20.4 million.

‘Renewed Enthusiasm’

Revenue for the full year climbed 23 percent to a record $638.9 million from 2011.

The M&A environment made a “turnaround” in the fourth quarter following a “fair” year, Altman said on the call. There is “renewed enthusiasm” for transactions, he said.

Evercore set aside $123 million, or 58 percent of net revenue, for compensation in the fourth quarter. That compares with $62 million, or 56 percent, a year earlier.

The firm said it promoted three executives to senior managing director last year and hired six more. Schlosstein said he expects to add another six this year.

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