Leading staffing firm
Robert Half International Inc.
) reported first quarter 2013 earnings of 40 cents, ahead of the
prior-year quarter earnings of 34 cents per share by 17.6%.
Earnings however lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a
Despite sluggish performance in the international markets,
Robert Half witnessed strong earnings growth driven by solid
demand for skilled professionals in the U.S., particularly in
permanent placement, information technology staffing and in
Protiviti operations. In fact, the company's earnings have now
grown more than 15% year over year for 12 straight quarters
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 the company's
clients. A gradual improvement in economic conditions and in job
markets in the U.S. has led to a rise in the demand for the
company's specialized staffing and consulting services.
Quarter in Detail
Robert Half's total revenue remained flat year over year at
$1.02 billion but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.05
billion. On a constant currency basis, revenues increased 4% year
over year on the back of rising global staffing revenues. While
revenues in the U.S. grew 6% in the first quarter, international
staffing revenues declined 9% on a constant currency basis.
Gross profit was $410.3 million in the reported quarter, up
2.0% year over year. Gross margin expanded 50 basis points to
40.1% in the first quarter as against 39.6% in the prior-year
quarter. Operating income increased 11.8% to $89.5 million in the
quarter. Operating margin increased 80 basis points to 8.7% in
the first quarter of 2013 on the back of higher gross margins,
lower operating expenses and solid Protiviti results.
Revenues at Accountemps declined 2.3% while revenues at
Robert Half Management Resources decreased 3.1%. Revenues
increased 0.6% both at Office Team and at Robert Half Finance and
Accounting. Revenues grew 4.6% at Robert Half Technology, while
revenues at the Protiviti division jumped 13.6% from the
Robert Half had cash and cash equivalents of $22.4 million at
the end of first quarter 2013 versus $287.6 million at the end of
fourth quarter. Capital expenditure was $8 million as against
$14.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Robert Half paid its stockholders a cash dividend of 16 cents
per share on Mar 15 at a total cost of $22 million. The quarterly
dividend was raised from 15 cents in February.
The company also repurchased 0.8 million shares for a total of
$30 million during the quarter. There are approximately 10.6
million shares remaining under the board approved stock
Robert Half carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in
the business services sector include
Amn Healthcare Services Inc
). While Trueblue holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Manpower
and Amn Healthcare both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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