Despite fears of inflation, natural disasters, and high oil prices, the American economy continues to grow. As a result, Corporate America is hiring again. This is certainly great news for Korn/Ferry International
In the second quarter, Korn/Ferry posted fee revenues of $125.8 million, which was up 16% from the same time a year ago. During this time, net income increased 25% to $10.9 million. Earnings per share came in at $0.25, up 19% from $0.21 in the comparable year-ago period.
Margins remained roughly even as the company ramped up hiring and office openings in response to strong market conditions. Hiring/expansion activity typically results in a bit higher costs at the outset, thereby impeding the sort of margin expansion we might reasonably expect on revenue growth in a business of Korn/Ferry's sort.
A quick glance at the balance sheet reveals the high-end recruiting business: It generates its fair share of cash. In the case of Korn/Ferry, it now has about $188.5 million in the bank. What to do with the cash? Well, the company plans to give some of it back to shareholders. In all, the company intends to buy $50 million in a share repurchase program.
In fact, there's strength on all lines of business for Korn/Ferry -- and all geographies, which includes North America, Europe, and parts of the Pacific/Asia region (China and India).
As for the third quarter, Korn/Ferry forecasts fee revenue of $125 million to $130 million and earnings per share of $0.25 to $0.29.
However, Korn/Ferry is not going to squeeze as much to the bottom line as possible. Rather, the company is investing in its growth -- the number of partners has increased by 34 over the past year.
Then again, on the conference call, the CEO of Korn/Ferry indicated that his market was showing "robust" and "huge demand." Thus, investing for the future certainly seems to hold possibility. Management is very upbeat on the future worldwide for this market. But it stands to reason that things could slow down, which is a big risk with this stock.
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Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares mentioned in this article.