Robert Half International Inc.
) continues to pursue its cash deployment strategy through
dividend payments and share buybacks. Following the trend, the
board of directors of this leading staffing firm recently
announced a hike of 12.5% in its quarterly dividend.
This implies that Robert Half will now pay a dividend of 18
cents to its shareholders, up from 16 cents per share paid
earlier. This calls for an annualized dividend of 1.8%. The new
quarterly dividend will be paid on March 14 to shareholders of
record as of Feb 25, 2014. Robert Half last paid its stockholders
a cash dividend of 16 cents per share on Dec 16, amounting to a
total of $24 million.
Not only dividends, the company also returns value to its
shareholders through share buybacks. During the fourth quarter
2013 (reported on Jan 30), the company repurchased 0.5 million
shares for a total of $20 million. There are approximately 8.1
million shares remaining under the board's currently approved
stock repurchase plan.
Robert Half had cash and cash equivalents of $275.8 million at
the end of the fourth quarter 2013 versus $279.7 million at the
end of the sequential quarter. Capital expenditure was $21
million in the fourth quarter as against $11.8 million in the
During its fourth quarter 2013, the company reported 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 penny.
Despite sluggish performance in the international markets,
Robert Half witnessed strong earnings growth driven by solid
demand for skilled professionals in the U.S. The company's
permanent placement and technology staffing divisions and
Protiviti operations delivered strong staffing revenue in the
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 6% growth in the
U.S, which was offset by a 3% decline in international staffing
revenues in the fourth quarter.
Robert Half carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks worth
considering in the business services sector include
Cross Country, Inc.
On Assignment Inc
). While Cross Country and On Assignment hold a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), Manpower carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ON ASSIGNMENT (ASGN): Free Stock Analysis
CROSS COUNTRY (CCRN): Free Stock Analysis
MANPOWER INC WI (MAN): Free Stock Analysis
ROBT HALF INTL (RHI): Free Stock Analysis
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