Evercore’s short cycle

Investment banking, as everyone knows, is a cyclical business. In the case of Evercore Partners, the downswing lasted about a day. On Monday morning, CEO Roger Altman was on a call with disenchanted investors trying to explain why the company booked just half the amount of revenue in the first three months of this year that it did in the same period last year. (Setting aside the utter ridiculousness of projecting quarterly revenue on an advisory business, Evercore’s first-quarter revenue of $45m came in about one-third below the amount Wall Street had projected.) On the report, Evercore shares sank to their lowest level since the boutique bank came public almost two years ago.

By Monday afternoon, however, it was looking like Evercore was set to pocket tens of millions of dollars for the bank’s role in co-advising EDS on its $13.9bn sale to Hewlett-Packard. Depending on how Evercore and Citigroup divvy up the advisory fee, Evercore could end up taking home more money from its EDS mandate than it booked in the first three months of the year. (HP’s purchase is expected to close in the second half of 2008, so the success fees will flow after that.) We guess that’s what Altman, who worked firsthand on the EDS sale, meant when he said the bank’s backlog was ‘fine.’ Evercore shares, however, haven’t recovered and, in fact, are changing hands below where they were on Monday.  

Banking HP-EDS

Company Advisers
HP JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers
EDS Citigroup, Evercore Partners