Robert Half International

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Thanks to a focus on professional staffing, especially in IT, Robert Half International ( RHI) never took a deep hit from the economic slowdown as companies preserved spending on hard-to-replace technology staffers. As a result, sales rose from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $3.8 billion in 2011.

Still, that's well below the $4.6 billion in sales that Robert Half took in back in 2006 and 2007. EPS of around $1 in 2011 is roughly half of what the company earned a half-decade ago.

Might Friday's jobs report be putting Robert Half on a path back to peak performance? Well, the national unemployment rate would need to move below 7% for that to happen, as that is when job-hopping really kicks in.

In addition to its exposure to the IT field, Robert Half has a strong reputation among accounting and finance clients. The company maintains a strong network of relationships with existing professionals, and can offer prospective employers a wide range of choices.

"Knowing that Robert Half has a quality supply of resources, employers often use it as the vendor of choice for their staffing needs. These factors feed upon each other to create one of the most formidable job networks and narrow economic moats in the staffing industry," note analysts at Morningstar.

Robert Half shows up on a list of 5 Staffing Companies With Upside in 2012.

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