UPDATE 1-Korn/Ferry posts Q3 profit

Tue Mar 9, 2010 8:30am EST

* Q3 profit $0.17/shr vs. year-ago loss $0.52/shr

* Revenue rises 6 pct

* Sees Q4 shr $0.10-$0.16

March 9 (Reuters) - Executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International (KFY.N) posted a third-quarter profit as margins improved, and forecast fourth-quarter earnings largely above expectations.

For the third quarter, net income was $7.9 million, or 17 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $22.4 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, it earned 11 cents a share.

Total revenue rose about 6 percent to $152.9 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 11 cents a share on revenue of $146.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Korn/Ferry said the number of engagements opened increased 28.9 percent during the period.

Operating margins for the quarter were 4.3 percent compared with year-ago margins of negative 8.3 percent.

The company sees fourth-quarter earnings of 10 cents to 16 cents a share and fee revenue of $145 million to $155 million.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 11 cents a share.

Shares of the company closed at $18.04 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)