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Economy weighs on Robert Half's earnings

October 23 2008

The economy's woes weighed on Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI) during the third quarter. The Menlo Park CA-based staffing firm reported today that third-quarter revenue fell 1.6% to $1.16 billion compared with almost $1.18 billion in the same period last year.

"Our third-quarter results clearly were impacted by the turmoil in the global financial markets," Chairman and CEO Harold Messmer Jr. said. "Clients became increasingly cautious with their hiring actions as the quarter progressed."

Messmer said, however, that third-quarter revenue from international staffing operations rose 15% year over year on a constant currency basis. International operations make up 30% of the company's total staffing revenue.

Still, third-quarter revenue fell in all the company's divisions except for its Robert Half Technology unit, which posted a 1.9% increase in third-quarter revenue to $112.3 million.

Revenue in the company's largest division, Accountemps, fell 2.0% in the third quarter to $434.7 million. OfficeTeam revenue fell 2.8% to $209.1 million. Robert Half Management Resources revenue fell 0.3% to $156.1 million. And revenue at Protiviti fell 0.8% to $139.5 million

Robert Half's third-quarter net income fell 11.0% to $65.8 million.

Gross margin slipped to 41.7% from 42.5%.

In a call with financial analysts, the company estimated fourth-quarter revenue at between almost $1.04 billion and almost $1.09 billion.

Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI)
For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Revenue: $1.16 billion, -1.6%
Net income: $65.8 million, -11.0%

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