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BMO Downgrades Robert Half, Although It Says It Is 'Loathe' To Do So

BMO Downgrades Robert Half, Although It Says It Is 'Loathe' To Do So - Robert Half International Inc. NYSE:RHI

BMO has downgraded Robert Half International Inc. RHI to Market Perform from Outperform after the provider of staffing and risk consulting services reported lower-than-expected second-quarter results and tepid third-quarter forecast.

Earnings And Outlook

The company reported EPS of $0.71, below the prior consensus $0.73 and BMO's $0.74 estimate. The number also came in at the low end of management guidance of $0.70–$0.76.

Also, the third quarter EPS outlook of $0.68–$0.74 was well below the prior consensus $0.81 and BMO's $0.80 estimate.

Analyst Take

Although "loathe" to make this type of rating change, analyst Jeffrey Silber said, "The weak revenue trends (same day, constant currency basis) were relatively broad-based, ranging from 'early cycle' OfficeTeam to 'later-cycle' permanent placement."

Despite acknowledging that some of the dampened third-quarter guidance was because of "expected revenue disruption and expenses of migrating to new IT systems," the analyst said deteriorating top-line trends cannot be ignored.

"[W]ith its client base getting 'incrementally more cautious,' it gives us some pause as to whether the company can meaningfully reaccelerate growth again this cycle. As such, it's tough for us to continue to recommend this name," Silber wrote in a note.

In addition, Silber cut his EPS estimates for third quarter to $0.72 from $0.80; 2016 to $2.81 from $2.97; and 2017 to $2.96 from $3.18. The analyst also slashed his price target to $36 from $45.

At the time of writing, shares of Robert Half had plunged 11.87 percent on the day to $36.53.

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DateFirmActionFromTo
Jul 2016BMO CapitalDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Jul 2016Bank of AmericaDowngradesBuyNeutral
Apr 2016Avondale PartnersDowngradesMarket OutperformMarket Perform

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