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Here's Why You Should Retain Robert Half in Your Portfolio

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Robert Half International Inc. (RHI - Free Report) is benefiting from favorable trends in the U.S. staffing industry, which is currently driven by strength in the broader economy.

Shares of the company have rallied 39.7% in the past year, significantly outperforming the industry’s rise of 12.1%.

With market cap of $8.32 billion, it seems to be a stock that investors should retain in their portfolio.

Let’s discuss the factors that bode well for the company.

Significant Developments in the Broader Economy

The U.S. staffing industry is currently benefiting from promising developments in the broader economy. Despite record low jobless rate, the economy continues to generate new jobs. A tight labor market is propelling companies to pay higher to attract and retain employees. Trump administration’s business-friendly approach, which includes tax cuts and higher government spending, is a major growth catalyst for the overall economy. This raises optimism related to growth of the staffing industry. All these factors are driving Robert Half. Moreover, lower tax rates as a result of the 2017 tax reform policy (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) are contributing to the bottom line.  The effective tax rate is anticipated in the range of 25-26% for 2018.

Investments in Software Initiatives &Technology Infrastructure

Robert Half has been allocating a major portion of capital expenditures on investments in software initiatives and technology infrastructure. Major software initiatives include upgrades to enterprise resource planning applications and the implementation of a global, cloud-based customer relationship management application. Further, the company continues to invest in digital technology initiatives designed to upgrade the service offerings to clients and candidates. In line with this, the company concluded the global rollout of CRM software in 2017 and launched a website recently. All these factors contribute to the company’s growth opportunities in the future.


Consistent Rewards to Shareholders

Robert Half’s consistent efforts to reward shareholders in the form of dividend payments and share repurchases are positives. In second-quarter 2018, the company repurchased 1.1 million shares for $76 million. It also paid a cash dividend of 28 cents per share in June, which amounts to a total payment of $34 million. In 2017, Robert Half returned $231.72 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and $121.00 million of share repurchases. In 2016, the company paid $176.03 million of dividend and repurchased shares worth $114.16 million. Such moves underline the company’s commitment to create value for shareholders and instill confidence in its business.

Wrapping Up

Despite short-term escalating costs, investments in technology and software bode well for Robert Half in the long term. Strong economy and tax reform are expected to continue driving the top and the bottom line.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Robert Half carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader Business Services Sector include ICF International, Inc (ICFI - Free Report) , WEX Inc (WEX - Free Report) and Paychex, Inc (PAYX - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

The long-term expected EPS (three to five years) growth rate for ICF International, WEX and Paychex is 10%, 15%, and 8.4%, respectively.

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