The Motley Fool

Robert Walters soars to multi-year highs as profits forecasts are upgraded

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer
Image source: Getty Images.

The release of positive news has helped improve investor confidence around the recruitment sector. The PageGroup share price rocketed to two-and-a-half-year peaks last year on strong first-quarter numbers. And industry cousin Robert Walters (LSE: RWA) has since followed the FTSE 250 share northwards after releasing excellent trading numbers of its own.

The Robert Walters share price has soared as high as 690p per share in Wednesday trading. This is the recruiter’s most expensive level since September 2018 and represents a 9% daily improvement.

One Killer Stock For The Cybersecurity Surge

Cybersecurity is surging, with experts predicting that the cybersecurity market will reach US$366 billion by 2028more than double what it is today!

And with that kind of growth, this North American company stands to be the biggest winner.

Because their patented “self-repairing” technology is changing the cybersecurity landscape as we know it…

We think it has the potential to become the next famous tech success story. In fact, we think it could become as big… or even BIGGER than Shopify.

Click here to see how you can uncover the name of this North American stock that’s taking over Silicon Valley, one device at a time…

Robert Walters hikes its profit guidance

In its latest statement Robert Walters said that positive trading momentum continued during the first quarter. The business said that this was underpinned “by further signs of improving market conditions” in its major regions.

At constant currencies, net fee income at the UK share fell 11% year on year during the three months to March, to £77.3m. This is better than the 26% drop it endured during the fourth quarter of 2020. It marks a vast improvement from the 30% drop it saw in Q3, too. As a result, the recruitment play has upgraded its profit forecasts for the full year.

Chief executive Robert Walters said that “whilst it is still difficult to be certain that there will be no further globally disruptive events ahead”, the board is “currently confident that profit for the year is likely to be comfortably ahead of market expectations.”

Hiring for growth

Walters said “the positive momentum in the group’s performance since quarter two 2020 has continued through the first quarter of 2021.” He added that candidate and client confidence “has been sequentially improving across most of [our] global footprint.”

Improving market confidence has led the company to increase its headcount during the first quarter. And “hiring [has been] focused in those geographies and disciplines showing the strongest signs of growth” it commented. Robert Walters added 74 employees during the first quarter to take the total to 3,221.

Asia leads the way

The firm said that activity across permanent, contract, interim and recruitment process outsourcing “all trended positively” in the first quarter. In Asia Pacific, net fee income fell 3% at stable exchange rates in the first quarter, to £32.8m. This is better than the drops of 23% and 30% the region experienced during quarters four and three of 2020 respectively.

Asia Pacific is now its single largest territory and responsible for 42% of group net fee income. Elsewhere the company saw net fee income in Europe and the UK fall 15% and 12% respectively in the first three months of 2021. And net fee income in the company’s other territories also improved in Q1. These were down 25% year-on-year.

Finally, Robert Walters hailed its “strong” balance sheet, which had £139.1m of net cash on it as of March. This was better than the £109.8m cash pile that was reported the same time a year ago.

FREE REPORT: Why this £5 stock could be set to surge

Are you on the lookout for UK growth stocks?

If so, get this FREE no-strings report now.

While it’s available: you'll discover what we think is a top growth stock for the decade ahead.

And the performance of this company really is stunning.

In 2019, it returned £150million to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.

We believe its financial position is about as solid as anything we’ve seen.

  • Since 2016, annual revenues increased 31%
  • In March 2020, one of its senior directors LOADED UP on 25,000 shares – a position worth £90,259
  • Operating cash flow is up 47%. (Even its operating margins are rising every year!)

Quite simply, we believe it’s a fantastic Foolish growth pick.

What’s more, it deserves your attention today.

So please don’t wait another moment.

Get the full details on this £5 stock now – while your report is free.

Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.