Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) and Kforce (NASDAQ:KFRC) are both business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, risk, dividends and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Robert Half International and Kforce, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Robert Half International 2 5 2 0 2.00
Kforce 0 3 2 0 2.40

Robert Half International currently has a consensus price target of $46.14, suggesting a potential downside of 4.53%. Kforce has a consensus price target of $23.67, suggesting a potential upside of 20.14%. Given Kforce’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Kforce is more favorable than Robert Half International.

Volatility & Risk

Robert Half International has a beta of 1.24, suggesting that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kforce has a beta of 1.55, suggesting that its share price is 55% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Robert Half International and Kforce’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Robert Half International $5.24 billion 1.16 $609.99 million $2.65 18.24
Kforce $1.33 billion 0.37 $73.79 million $1.34 14.70

Robert Half International has higher revenue and earnings than Kforce. Kforce is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Robert Half International, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Robert Half International and Kforce’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Robert Half International 6.47% 31.26% 18.78%
Kforce 2.63% 29.68% 10.08%

Dividends

Robert Half International pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Kforce pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Robert Half International pays out 36.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Kforce pays out 35.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Robert Half International has raised its dividend for 13 consecutive years. Kforce is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.4% of Robert Half International shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.7% of Kforce shares are held by institutional investors. 3.4% of Robert Half International shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 13.3% of Kforce shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Robert Half International beats Kforce on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Robert Half International

Robert Half International Inc. provides specialized staffing and risk consulting services. The Company provides these services through its divisions, including Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, OfficeTeam, Robert Half Technology, Robert Half Management Resources, Robert Half Legal, The Creative Group and Protiviti. The Company operates through three segments: temporary and consultant staffing, permanent placement staffing, and risk consulting and internal audit services. The temporary and consultant staffing segment provides specialized staffing in the accounting and finance, administrative and office, information technology (IT), legal, advertising, marketing and Web design fields. The permanent placement staffing segment provides full-time personnel in the accounting, finance, administrative and office, and IT fields. The risk consulting and internal audit services segment provides business and technology risk consulting, and internal audit services.

About Kforce

Kforce Inc. (Kforce) is engaged in providing professional and technical specialty staffing services and solutions. The Company operates through three segments, which include Technology (Tech), Finance and Accounting (FA) and Government Solutions (GS). The Company’s Tech segment includes the operations of its subsidiary Kforce Global Solutions, Inc. The FA segment is engaged in providing both temporary staffing and permanent placement services to its clients in areas, such as general accounting, business analysis and others. The GS segment is engaged in providing services and solutions to the Federal Government as both a prime contractor and a subcontractor in the fields of information technology, and finance and accounting. Kforce operates through field offices located throughout the United States and one office in Manila, the Philippines. The Company offers various staffing services that consist of temporary staffing services (Flex) and permanent placement services (Direct Hire).

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