STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Staffing firms hit by Randstad warning
Shares of employment agencies Adecco, Michael Page and Randstad fall after the latter warns of a continued drop in sales, especially in Europe, and changes its dividend policy, prompting analysts to expect a dividend cut.
Randstad shares drop 3.2 percent to a 16-week low to be the second-largest decliner in the FTSEurofirst 300 index. Adecco and Michael Page shares are down 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
"The dividend for 2012 is likely safe but, based on current forecasts, 2013 (is likely) to be cut," ING analyst Marc Zwartsenburg says in a note about Randstad, adding the pay-out could be cut to 1.03 euros per share in 2013 from 1.25 euros this year.
KBC Securities analyst Margo Joris, who also says a dividend cut is possible, downgrades the stock to "hold" from "accumulate", and lowers the price target to 26 euros from 30 euros.
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