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Robert Half International Can Prosper in Good Times and Bad

By    |   Friday, 27 July 2012 02:34 PM

Robert Half International (RHI), a provider of temporary workers, is the kind of company that can prosper in both good and bad times. When growth is questionable, companies are more likely to second-guess permanent hiring. When growth is strong, expansion can outstrip the capacity of fast-growing firms to staff new operations.

Robert Half International provides specialized staffing and risk consulting services through various divisions Through its Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Robert Half Management Resources divisions, RHI is the world’s largest specialized provider of temporary, full-time, and project professionals in the fields of accounting and finance.

The OfficeTeam unit specializes in highly skilled temporary administrative support personnel. Robert Half Technology provides information technology professionals. Robert Half Legal provides temporary, project, and full-time staffing of attorneys and specialized support personnel within law firms and corporate legal departments.

The Creative Group provides project staffing in the advertising, marketing, and web design fields.

In 2002, Robert Half hired more than 700 professionals who had been affiliated with the internal audit and business and technology risk consulting practice of Arthur Andersen LLP, including more than 50 individuals who had been partners of Andersen. These professionals formed the base of the company’s Protiviti subsidiary.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, the company conducted its staffing services operations through more than 350 offices in 42 states, the District of Columbia and 19 foreign countries. Office managers are responsible for most activities of their offices, including sales, local advertising and marketing and recruitment.

The day-to-day operations of Protiviti are managed by a chief executive officer and a senior management team with operational and administrative support provided by individuals located in San Ramon and Menlo Park, Calif.. As of Dec. 31, 2011, Protiviti had 60 offices in 23 states and 13 foreign countries.

Robert Half International has a market cap of $3.77 billion in a sector, professional services, where the average company size is $944.05 million. Its trailing 12-month P/E ratio is 20.75 and its five-year projected price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio is 1.24, compared to 2.09 for the sector.

Its projected earnings per share growth for the coming year is 22.3 percent, compared to a sector average of 15.87 percent.

Improving condition

Wall Street is positive on RHI, with buy or outperform calls from UBS, Morgan Stanley, Standard & Poor’s Equity Research, and Zacks Investment Research.

“We are encouraged by management’s efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks. Further, the improving global economic condition has heightened demand for the company’s temporary and permanent staffing services and risk consulting and internal audit services,” Zacks analysts wrote in mid-May.

Robert Half International next reports on Oct 23.

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