UPDATE 1-Kforce Q3 beats Wall Street

Mon Nov 1, 2010 5:03pm EDT

* Q3 EPS $0.16 vs est $0.15

* Revenue up 14 pct

* Sees Q4 EPS $0.14-$0.16, rev $253-$259 mln

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Staffing company Kforce Inc (KFRC.O) posted better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by strong growth at its flexible staffing unit.

The company, which offers staffing in areas such as technology, finance and accounting, health and life sciences, forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 14-16 cents a share on revenue of $253-$259 million.

Analysts on average expect fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $255.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For July-September, the company earned $6.4 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $2.3 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 16 cents a share.

The company, whose rivals include Kelly Services Inc (KELYA.O) and SFN Group Inc (SFN.N), said revenue rose 14 percent to $259.5 million.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $257.2 million.

The company's flexible segment, which accounts for 95 percent of revenue, rose 12 percent to $249 million. Revenue at both the technology and the finance and accounting segments jumped about 21 percent.

Employers, reluctant to commit to full-time hiring before seeing concrete signs that a recovery has taken root, are relying more on contingent labor, flexibly employing people as needed, often for short contracts.

Shares of the Tampa, Florida-based company closed at $14.93 on Monday on Nasdaq. The stock has gained more than half its value since touching a year low of $9.80 on Aug. 27. (Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)