What happened

Shares of Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI), a staffing services company, dropped on Wednesday after a solid third-quarter report. A broad market sell-off likely exacerbated the decline. The stock was down 10.3% at market close.

So what

Robert Half reported third-quarter revenue of $1.47 billion, up 10.6% year over year and in line with the average analyst estimate. Revenue growth decelerated a bit from the second quarter, when sales jumped 11.5%.

In the press release announcing the results, CEO Harold Messmer Jr. said: "All of our staffing divisions and [global consulting firm] Protiviti reported solid year-over-year revenue gains in the third quarter. Our permanent-placement and Protiviti operations performed particularly well during the quarter." 

Earnings per share came in at $0.95, up from $0.68 in the prior-year period and $0.04 higher than analysts were expecting. Higher revenue and a lower tax rate contributed to the earnings growth.

A man with head on desk in front of slumping chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Shares of Robert Half have soared since late 2017. The stock was recently up as much as 75% from a low carved out in August 2017, but it began tumbling this September. Still, even after today's decline, the stock remains up about 30% from that low.

While Robert Half's results were positive, investors may have been expecting more.

Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Robert Half International. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.