UPDATE 1-Korn/Ferry Q1 tops Wall Street view, shares rise

Thu Sep 9, 2010 9:33am EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.24 vs est $0.20

* Q1 fee rev jumps about 50 pct

* Gives Q2 outlook largely above market view

* Shares rise 8 pct in early trade

Sept 9 (Reuters) - Executive search firm Korn/Ferry International Inc (KFY.N) posted strong first-quarter results that beat market estimates, helped by a 50 percent jump in its fee revenue, and forecast a strong second quarter.

The company expects earnings of 20-27 cents per share for the August-October quarter, on revenue of $165-185 million.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 21 cents per share, on revenue of $172.4 million, for the period, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Los Angeles-based company, which competes with global staffing services companies like Manpower Inc (MAN.N) and Kelly Services Inc (KELYA.O), said fee revenue improved partly due to a rise in the number of executive recruitment engagements billed.

Korn/Ferry operates in two segments -- executive recruitment and Futurestep, its recruitment process outsourcing unit.

For the May-July quarter, the company earned $10.9 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.3 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago.

Total sales rose about 49 percent to $183.2 million, while fee revenue rose 50 percent to $175.1 million.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 20 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $166.6 million.

Shares of the company have gained 17 percent in the past two weeks, were up 8 percent at $16.17 in early trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Fareha Khan in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)