Robert Half (RHI 0.16%) posted its latest earnings release shortly after the market closed on Tuesday, and the following day, its stock suffered a hangover. It closed down by nearly 6% in price on Wednesday, which was notable since the bellwether S&P 500 index traded sideways across that session.
One of the most durable and well-known companies in the staffing services industry, Robert Half, wasn't looking very impressive with its second-quarter numbers. It earned revenue of slightly under $1.64 billion and netted a profit of $106 million ($1 per share) under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) standards. Both were down from the second-quarter 2022 results of $1.86 billion and $176 million, respectively.
Compounding the twin declines, both headline figures failed to meet the average analyst estimates. Prognosticators following Robert Half were, on average, forecasting $1.69 billion on the top line and $1.13 per share for GAAP net income.
In the earnings release, Robert Half pointed the finger of blame at "elongated" hiring cycles by clients. This arose from widespread macroeconomic uncertainty. In such times, companies tend to be more hesitant to hire new workers.
Yet, Robert Half still managed to sound a bullish note or two about the current state of its business and its looming future.
It quoted CEO M. Keith Waddell as saying, "Pricing and gross margins remain strong, demonstrating the value-added benefit we deliver for our clients. We remain confident that we are well positioned to benefit significantly as the macro landscape improves."
The company did not, however, proffer guidance for future periods in the earnings release.