Staffing Company Spherion’s Losses Show Impact Of Economy

More bad news on the employment front today as Spherion reports it lost $126.2 million in the last quarter of 2008, giving it a $118.5 million loss for the year.

spherionThe staffing and RPO company’s 4th quarter revenues were $507.5 million, down $74 million over the same period in 2007. For the year, Spherion reported revenue of $2.19 billion versus $2.02 billion the previous year.

“Challenging economic conditions adversely impacted our company’s performance during the fourth quarter,” Spherion President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Krause says in the financial release announcing the results. “Our focus on cash flow and containment of operating costs continues to improve our financial stability and flexibility during these challenging economic times.”

The revenue figures were below Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts estimated 4th quarter revenue between $518 million and $522 million.

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The news, however, didn’t negatively affect the already battered stock price. Spherion was up 3 cents on the day to $1.37. The stock price has been as high as $7.08 in the last year, but began a downward slide in April before dropping precipitously in October as the extent of economic crisis made headlines.

In releasing its numbers, Spherion said, “The continuing economic volatility makes it difficult to predict with any certainty the amount of demand that will be seen in the market, and therefore management has elected not to provide revenue and earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2009. The company believes that a combination of existing cash balances, operating cash flows, and existing revolving lines of credit, taken together, provide adequate resources to fund ongoing operations.”

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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