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What: Shares of blue-collar staffing service TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI ) were looking stronger today, gaining as much as 12% after reporting quarterly earnings.
So what: TrueBlue, which provides staffing services under the brand name Labor Ready, beat earnings estimates by $0.06, posting a per-share profit of $0.19. Revenue fell 1.6% from a year ago to $344.6 million but still topped estimates, and management said sales would have grown 4% excluding the impact of one large project. The company also acquired nearly all of the assets of MDT Personnel, a staffing firm with 105 locations, for $48 million. CEO Steve Cooper expressed optimism about the coming year and said TrueBlue continues to benefit from an improving construction market.
Now what: As the results of staffing peer Kforce seemed to confirm, which gained 20% after reporting earnings, temp staffing providers look like major beneficiaries from the recovering employment market. True Blue is projecting a small loss this quarter, but that may have as much to do with the integration of MDT as anything else. The combined company has revenues around $1.6 billion, and I expect performance to improve along with the job market.
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