Our latest HRintelligence eNewsletter has been distributed and it is chock full of industry intelligence, commentary and analysis for HR suppliers.
Rating the overall health of the human resource marketplace is difficult given the diversity and vastness of the space. For example, a rising tide in the insurance or worksite marketing space does not necessarily translate into equal success in the HR software, recruitment, training or payroll sectors. The earnings announcements below are taken from a sample of HR companies across all aspects of HR and present a broad overview of how the space is doing. We believe the health of the HR marketplace remains "Great" as employment is rising, corporate spending is increasing, technology and cost barriers continue to fall, and global markets are expanding - and it’s becoming easier for small and mid-size companies to penetrate. It's a good time to be doing business in the human capital industry. And because our own business relies on selling marketing and PR services to HR suppliers across all aspects of the human capital marketplace, we usually have our finger on the pulse of the space - and our business has never been better. So, this month we continue to rate the health as "Great".
To view the MOST comprehensive news briefs and releases in the human resource industry, please visit our HR Industry News page. Members of HRmarketer.com receive news updates via email several times per week and may post their own company's news to this site.
- Shares of Administaff Inc. soared to a new 52-week high after the personnel management company reported earnings that jumped more than threefold and eclipsed analysts' estimates -- driven by higher unit growth and increased gross profit per worksite employee. For full-year 2005, Administaff's profit came in at $29.9 million, or $1.12 per share, on revenue of $1.2 billion vs. full-year 2004 profit of $19.2 million, or 72 cents per share, with revenue of $969.5 million.
- Aetna, one of the largest providers of health insurance to employers, saw quarterly revenue rise 14%, reflecting higher contributions from health-care premiums. Aetna also increased its forecast for 2006 growth in medical membership, to a range of 900,000 to 1 million from 800,000 to 900,000 previously. The company also announced a two-for-one stock split effective Feb. 17.
- Aflac Inc., one of the nation's largest supplemental health and life insurers, increased its quarterly cash dividend to 13 cents - an 18-percent increase from the previous payout of 11 cents.
- Ceridian Corp. said that its fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled on strong demand and improved margins. The company attributed the increase to the penetration into new markets, new products, and higher demand for its Comdata credit and debit payment services. The company did not single out its payroll or HR services.
- Clark Inc., a benefits and compensation consulting firm, said its fourth-quarter net income declined 39 percent, hurt by lower revenue and commissions and fees. Revenue fell 17 percent to $77.5 million from $93.6 million, while commissions and fees declined 34 percent to $14.1 million. Both new-business and renewal revenue declined, Clark said, with the majority of the shortfall in the company's banking practice.
- Hewitt Associates said first-quarter earnings fell 7 percent, as revenue edged down and charges for job cuts and a terminated $10 million contract hurt results.
- Kronos earned $6.2 million on $128 million in revenue in the fiscal first quarter ending Dec. 31. A year ago, the company had a $10.7 million profit on sales of $118 million. Kronos achieved its 75th straight quarter of profitability, but new chief executive Aron Ain said he was disappointed in the company's results. Kronos also announced it has begun offering its software as a service, with customers able to rent access to Kronos applications running on Kronos servers. Customers will be able to continue purchasing perpetual licenses and run the software on their own servers.
- Marsh & McLennan Cos., the world's largest insurance broker, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as insurance premiums declined and revenue dropped at its Putnam mutual fund unit. Marsh is trying to bounce back after agreeing in January 2005 to pay $850 million to settle charges that it rigged bids and steered business to insurers that paid hidden fees. On a positive note, its consulting revenue, which includes the Mercer Human Resource unit, rose 6 percent to $966 million.
- Monster.com reported a 49% increase in fourth- quarter net income to $36.5 million, with revenues increasing 24% to $266.6 million. Monster Worldwide's profits also spiked 49 percent in the December quarter. In a statement, Monster Worldwide's Chairman and CEO Andrew J. McKelvey said international sales grew 46 percent last year. Monster.com's success is due to employment classifieds increasingly migrating to the Web, an improved employment outlook and strong international growth. In fact, Nielsen/NetRatings' November data ranked Monster as Europe's most visited site. Monster is also getting into the Chinese market. Competition in this space is relentless with Yahoo!'s HotJobs, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, and even Google (Google Base), not to mention all the niche boards.
- TALX Corporation announced a quarterly dividend of $0.04 per share, a 20 percent increase from $0.033 per share last quarter. TALX also reported a 55 percent net earnings increase in its fiscal third quarter from the same quarter in 2004.
- Ultimate Software said its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled thanks to strong demand, and forecast higher-than-expected 2006 revenue. Revenue rose 22 percent to $24.9 million from $20.5 million during the prior-year period. The company said demand for its Intersourcing product drove revenue during the quarter. For 2006, the company said it expects revenue go grow by 20 percent to 23 percent, which puts revenue at between $106.3 million and $109 million - well above Wall Street's forecast for 15-percent growth to $101.9.