Manpower gives 'guarded' first-quarter revenue forecast
(Reuters) - ManpowerGroup Inc (MAN.N), the world's No.3 staffing company, said it expected revenue to be flat to up 2 percent in the current quarter, even after its quarterly profit doubled as hiring picked up in Europe.
The company, which gets two-thirds of its revenue from Europe, said it remained "guarded" on revenue growth in the first quarter.
"(The revenue growth outlook) could disappoint some people, but it's more likely than not the seasonality factor than any slowdown in the business," Jefferies & Co analyst Dan Dolev said.
Manpower also forecast earnings of 62-70 cents per share for the first quarter, in line with the average analyst estimate of 69 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Manpower's net income jumped to $101.2 million, or $1.25 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31 from $53.3 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier, as demand for temporary workers rose in Europe.
Companies tend to hire temporary workers in times of economic uncertainty as they are reluctant to commit to full-time hiring.
Manpower earned $1.49 per share, excluding a charge of $26.5 million related to cost cutting.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $5.25 billion. Revenue from Europe increased 5.5 percent.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.25 per share on revenue of $5.21 billion.
Manpower's shares closed at $79.36 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock rose about 66 percent in 2013.
(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Kirti Pandey)
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