We are upgrading our recommendation on Robert Half International (RHI) to Outperform from Neutral following robust first quarter 2012 earnings. The company's first quarter earnings of $0.34 per share surpassed the prior-year earnings by 89% and the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 21%.
Each of the business segments of Robert Half reported strong revenue growth in the quarter. Besides revenue, earnings also experienced a robust growth owing to the strong demand of personnel in the technology and accounting sectors. Gross margins and operating margins also improved on solid top-line results.
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.
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