HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ¿ Shares of Resources Connection Inc. fell sharply in premarket trading Friday, a day after the accounting and finance staffing company posted a fiscal first-quarter loss, widely missing Wall Street expectations. Resources Connection recorded a loss of $7.2 million, or 16 cents per share, down sharply from a profit of $12.5 million, or 27 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2008. Expenses for the quarter included $7 million related to the departure of two senior executives, the company said. Revenue slid to $118.3 million from $207.3 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $119.8 million for the quarter ended Aug. 29. Shares of Resources Connection dropped $1.83, or 10.8 percent, to $15.07 ahead of Friday's market open. The stock has ranged from $12.70 to $22 over the past year. "Our first-quarter results are reflective of a slowly recovering global economy and, to a lesser extent, the seasonal impact of vacations," Resources Connection CEO Don Murray said in a statement.
Resources Connection said its effective tax rate in the quarter was a benefit of 19.4 percent, compared with a provision of 43.5 percent for the same quarter last year. For both periods, the accounting for costs associated with incentive stock options and shares purchased through its employee stock purchase plan has caused volatility in its effective tax rate, the company said. Stifel Nicolaus analyst James J. Janesky raised his fiscal 2011 revenue estimate based on gradual improvement due to year-end work and other factors. He also lifted his full-year profit estimate to 14 cents per share from 10 cents per share. Janesky maintained a "Hold" rating on the Irvine, Calif.-based company.