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Korn/Ferry Profit Doubles

March 09, 2005|From Bloomberg News

Korn/Ferry International, the world's largest executive recruiting firm, said Tuesday that fiscal third-quarter earnings more than doubled to $9.8 million as financial-services companies and other businesses sought new talent.

Net income in the period ended Jan. 31 rose to 23 cents a share from $3.9 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier. It is the company's eighth straight quarter of higher profit.

Sales jumped 43% to $123.6 million from $86.7 million a year earlier, Los Angeles-based Korn/Ferry said.

Executive-search fees from companies of all types increased 44% to $116.9 million. Revenue from financial-services employers was particularly strong, rising 67%, Chief Operating Officer Gary Burnison said.

Korn/Ferry said it was benefiting as growing confidence in the economy prompted more companies to boost hiring.

"Job creation continues at the senior level across almost all industry sectors and geographic regions," Chief Executive Paul Reilly said. "As corporations feel more confident in their ability to meet financial targets, the war for talent will continue to heat up."

Fees in the current quarter are forecast to rise as much as 25%, while per-share earnings may climb 19%, said Korn/Ferry.

Korn/Ferry, which fills executive and middle-management positions, beat the 21-cent average third-quarter estimate of four analysts polled by Thomson First Call. Analysts predict net income of 25 cents a share in the current quarter ending next month, according to Thomson.

Shares of Korn/Ferry fell 33 cents to $19.94 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has risen 61% in the last year.

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