Huron Builds on Failure

The implosion of Enron and Arthur Andersen was grueling for many people. But, for Gary Holdren, it was a tremendous opportunity. Formerly a partner with Arthur Andersen, he is now the CEO of a New Age consulting firm, Huron (Nasdaq: HURN  ) , formed in May 2002. In fact, to build his firm, he hired many Arthur Andersen alumni.

While other major consulting firms, such as Accenture (NYSE: ACN  ) and BearingPoint (NYSE: BE  ) , must deal with legacy organizations, Huron had the advantage of starting from scratch -- learning from the fatal mistakes of Arthur Andersen. Thus, Huron is an independent provider of financial and operational consulting services.

And so far, the company is having no problems getting business. This week, it reported its third-quarter results, revealing that revenues surged 45.5% to $37.1 million, compared to the same period a year ago. Net income was $800,000, which was up from a loss of $2.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Like all good consulting firms, Huron practices its own advice. For example, it eliminated its Operational Consulting division because it was not meeting milestones.

With its recent IPO, Huron will be able to hire more billable consultants to maintain its growth rate. Already, the company has 489 billable consultants.

Huron's specialty is dealing with complex distressed situations. Take one of its recent assignments: Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM  ) . It retained Huron to provide forensic auditing to look into allegations of accounting manipulations.

True, it is a dangerous world for corporate America, with aggressive plaintiff's attorneys, Eliot Spitzer, a renewed Securities and Exchange Commission, and new stringent regulations (such as Sarbanes-Oxley). But, for Huron, it is a growth business.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.

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