Leading staffing firm
Robert Half International Inc.
) reported fourth quarter 2013 earnings of 49 cents, ahead of the
prior-year quarter adjusted earnings of 42 cents per share by
16.7%. Earnings also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a
Despite sluggish performance in the international markets,
Robert Half witnessed strong earnings growth driven by solid
demand for services by skilled professionals in the U.S., The
company's permanent placement and technology staffing divisions
and Protiviti operations delivered strong staffing revenue in the
quarter. In fact, the company's earnings have now grown in
double-digits for 15 straight quarters on a year over year basis,
driven by growing demand for skilled workforce and consulting
We believe that the demand for the company's services, in
particular its staffing services, is highly dependent on the
state of the economy and the staffing needs of its clients. A
gradual improvement in economic conditions and the U.S. job
market has increased the demand for the company's specialized
staffing and consulting services.
Quarter in Detail
Robert Half's total revenue grew 4.8% year over year to $1.08
billion in the fourth quarter and beat the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $1.075 billion by 0.8%. On a constant currency basis,
revenues increased 3% year over year, driven by a 6% growth in
the U.S. and a 3% decline in international staffing revenues in
the fourth quarter.
Gross profit was $443.2 million in the reported quarter, up
6.4% year over year. Gross margin expanded 60 basis points to
40.9% in the fourth quarter as driven by higher sales. Operating
income increased 7.2% to $104.1 million in the quarter. Operating
margin increased 20 basis points to 9.6% in the fourth quarter of
2013 on the back of higher gross margins and solid Protiviti
Revenues increased 3.0% and 6.7% at Office Team and at Robert
Half Finance and Accounting segmnets, respectively. Revenues grew
14.1% at Robert Half Technology, 0.7% at Robert Half Management
Resources and 17.9% at the Protiviti division year over year.
Only Accountemps revenues declined 0.4% in the quarter.
Full Year 2013 Results
For full year 2013, Robert Half posted earnings of $1.83 per
share, the highest ever reported by the company. Earnings were
in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and were way ahead of
the prior-year quarter earnings of $1.50 per share by 22.0%.
Robert Half's total revenue grew 3.4% year over year to $4.25
billion in 2013. It was slightly ahead of the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $4.24 billion.
Robert Half had cash and cash equivalents of $275.8 million at
the end of the fourth quarter versus $279.7 million at the end of
the third quarter. Capital expenditure was $21 million in the
fourth quarter as against $11.8 million in the third quarter.
Robert Half paid its stockholders a cash dividend of 16 cents
per share on Dec 16, amounting to a total of $24 million. The
company also repurchased 0.5 million shares for a total of $20
million during the quarter. There are approximately 8.1 million
shares remaining under the board's currently approved stock
Robert Half carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth
considering in the business services sector include
Cross Country, Inc.
On Assignment Inc
). While Cross Country holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), On
Assignment and Korn/Ferry carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ON ASSIGNMENT (ASGN): Free Stock Analysis
CROSS COUNTRY (CCRN): Free Stock Analysis
KORN/FERRY INTL (KFY): Free Stock Analysis
ROBT HALF INTL (RHI): Free Stock Analysis
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