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Value

What recession? On Assignment, Inc. (ASGN - Snapshot Report) finds itself in one of the hottest area of hiring as IT and Life Sciences boom. This Zacks #1 Rank (strong buy) is expected to grow earnings by 205% in 2011.

On Assignment is a staffing company placing professionals in the life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors.

Headquartered in California, it has 80 offices throughout the US, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and China. The company also places physicians in Australia and New Zealand.

Revenue Jumped 38% Year Over Year

On Assignment reported second quarter results on Aug 3 and saw revenue climb to $143.7 million. Revenue soared in its two largest segments.

IT and Engineering revenue jumped 58.4% to $65.3 million from last year. It also gained 8.6% from the first quarter.

Life Sciences soared 55.3% to $39.6 million from the second quarter of 2010 and was also up 20.2% from the first quarter of 2011.

Out of all its segments, only Physician revenue fell. It was down 7.7% to $17 million from last year but did manage to finish up 2.9% from the first quarter of the year.

Gross margin of 34% was the highest second quarter gross margin in the company's history. It rose 17 basis points from the year ago quarter. Gross margin topped out in the IT and Engineering segment at 35.8%.

The company surprised on the Zacks Consensus by 23%. Earnings per share were 16 cents compared to the consensus of 13 cents. It was the fourth consecutive earnings beat. On Assignment made just 3 cents per share in the year ago quarter.

2011 Zacks Consensus Estimate Rises

On Assignment is on track to blow away 2010's earnings.

The 2011 Zacks Consensus Estimate has jumped 5 cents to 55 cents in the last 60 days.

That is massive earnings growth of 205% in 2011 as the company made only 18 cents per share in 2010.

Growth + Value

In addition to the earnings growth, On Assignment also has value.

Like the overall markets, the stock has sold off in the past 2 months.

Shares are trading at just 13x forward estimates. A P/E under 15 usually indicates value.

It also has other value fundamentals such as a price-to-book ratio of only 1.1. A P/B under 3.0 is considered to be a value.

The company also has a price-to-sales ratio of just 0.5. A P/S ratio under 1.0 means a company is undervalued.

On Assignment is bucking the doom and gloom trend in hiring as it specializes in high demand technology and science placements. On Assignment has the powerful combination of both growth and value.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Insider Trader services. You can follow her at twitter.com/traceyryniec.

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