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World – Robert Half increases Q1 revenue but analysts pessimistic

25 April 2012

California-based finance and accountancy recruitment firm Robert Half International Inc (RHI:NYQ)  said on Tuesday that its first-quarter profit jumped as strong demand for specialised staffing and consulting services boosted revenue. But according to Wall Street Cheat Sheet, analysts appear pessimistic about the company’s results for the coming quarter by rating its shares down.

However, the results still exceeded analyst expectations as the firm increased its revenues by +16% to US$1.015 billion in the first quarter of 2012 from US$880.9 million a year ago.

In the first quarter, operating income surged to US$80 million from US$44.4 million a year ago. Temporary and consultant staffing contributed the highest amount of operating income, over US$69 million, followed by permanent placement staffing (US$13.3 million).

Gross profit for the period also increased by +19% from US$338 million to US$402 million. The Group gross margin improved from 38.4% in Q1 2012 to 39.6% in the last quarter. Particularly, the gross margin for temporary and consultant staffing went up by +1.2% to 35.6%.

For the period ended 31 March, net income rose by +45% to US$48.3 million from US$26.7 million.

Chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, Harold M. Messmer, said that “This is the seventh straight quarter the company has reported double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth. In each of these quarters, growth in net income and earnings per share has greatly outpaced revenue growth.”

All divisions showed an increase in revenue but especially Accountemps, the firm’s largest staffing division for temporary professionals performed well. This division accounted for 38% of company revenues, contributing US$385.4 million of revenues, which is up from US$330.3 million a year ago.

OfficeTeam, an administrative staffing division which represents almost 20% of company-wide revenues, increased turnover to US$200.4 million in the quarter from US$176.3 million at the same time last year.

First quarter revenues for Robert Half Management Resources, a specialist division for senior-level accounting finance professionals which made up 12.6% of global revenues, were US$128.1 million, up from US$111.4 million.

Robert Half Technology reported revenues of US$115.6 million, up from US$96.6 million a year ago. This division targets information technology professionals and accounted for over 11% of company-wide revenues.

In the quarter, Robert Half Finance & Accounting revenues also rose to US$82.9 million, up from US$67.6 million in 2011, contributing around 8% of total Group revenues.

Protiviti, the global business consulting and internal audit firm, reported revenue of US$102.9 million in the first quarter from US$98.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Robert Half International provides professional consulting and staffing services, and is the parent company of Protiviti, a global consulting and internal audit firm.  The company’s staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, and OfficeTeam.

The company’s share price went up by +1.26% yesterday to US$28.84, down -6.97% from a year ago but +9.25% below its 52-week high of US$31.78 set on 25 April 2011. This values the company at US$4.05 billion. 

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