Staffing firm Manpower Group (MAN) saw its shares tumble this summer, and they have only partially recovered. That's because this Wisconsin-based firm also has a great deal of exposure to Europe, which accounts for 66% of sales.
Still, that exposure hasn't hurt results as badly as you'd expect. In the most recent, Manpower noted that European results were up in every country compared to a year ago. And that enabled the company to beat EPS forecasts by more than 10%.Make no mistake, the European job market will lag the U.S. job market. Analysts expect U.S. employment to keep building from here, but don't expect that to be the case in Europe until at least the second half of 2012. Analysts think Manpower's EPS will drop around 5% this year to around $3.10. Merrill Lynch has the lowest EPS forecast on Wall Street, anticipating EPS of just $2.70, but it also thinks results will sharply improve after that, with EPS hitting nearly $4 by 2014. Shares of Manpower trade for roughly half of what they fetched back in 2007, and for long-term investors, this staffing stock may have the greatest upside as it slowly regains lost ground. Manpower also shows up on a list of 5 Staffing Companies With Upside in 2012.
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