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Analyst downgrades Heidrick & Struggles

Shares of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. fell sharply Monday as an analyst downgraded its shares, saying they’re overvalued.

Analyst Ty Govatos of C.L. King and Associates downgraded the Chicago company to “Neutral” from “Buy.”

He said in a note to clients that he initially rated the shares a “Buy” after Heidrick & Struggles’ first-quarter $18.9 million loss led to a decline in its share price from more than $23 to less than $17.

Heidrick & Struggles and staffing company Korn/Ferry International lagged the market, with Heidrick’s total enterprise value selling at a discount to Korn/Ferry, Govatos said.

The gap in share value between Heidrick & Struggles and Korn/Ferry has been eliminated, with Heidrick & Struggles closing at $26.31 Friday and Korn/Ferry ending the day at $14.95.

“We still believe the longer-term outlook for Heidrick & Struggles and the search companies is good, but over the shorter term the price of Heidrick & Struggles seems to have run ahead of itself,” Govatos said.

Shares of Heidrick & Struggles fell $1.87, or 7.1 percent, to $24.44 in afternoon trading.

Shares of Korn/Ferry rose 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $15.


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