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If you're looking for a barometer of the economic and business recovery, you might be heartened by

Korn/Ferry International's

(KFY) - Get Korn Ferry Report

return to profit in its second quarter, which also beat analysts' expectations.

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The Los Angeles-based executive search firm said Wednesday that it earned $2.2 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $82 million, after a loss of $18 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $85.7 a year ago. Thomson First Call forecast a consensus estimate of 2 cents a share for the quarter ended Oct. 31.

The company said it has "seen an apparent beginning of a recovery in corporate growth and the job market, particularly in North America over this past quarter." Client fee revenue increased $4.1 million from the previous quarter.

Korn/Ferry's restructuring paid dividends, as operating profit soared $4.9 million to $5.2 million, reflecting "24 months of relentless cost management."

The company said it expected third-quarter earnings in a range of 1 cent to 8 cents a share, vs. a consensus estimate of 5 cents a share.

Recently, the company's shares were up $1.23, or 12.3%, to $11.22, above their intraday 52-week high.