Korn/Ferry: A “Clean Beat”

Korn/Ferry’s doing better than expected, results R.W. Baird analyst Mark Marcon calls “a clean beat” of expectations. The stock was up sharply Tuesday.

Some thoughts in an email from Marcon on the world’s largest executive search company.

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Average fee/search increased a very strong 15%.

Growth is clearly decelerating — from +26% in FQ2, +22% in FQ3, +16% in FQ4.

Futurestep also had a solid quarter, and continues to make good progress of improving its operating margin. Revenue increased 22% and operating margin expanded from 8.1% to 9.2%. (Futurestep is the RPO division; it’s about 14% of the company.)

North America and EMEA, two largest segments, were significantly better than expected, while Asia-Pac was disappointing. The only real negative was Asia-Pac.

South America performed well, but is small.

Korn/Ferry’s top executives also talked about the business, the economy in general, and more, during a conference call.

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