March 16, 2021 – Hudson Global Inc. / (NASDAQ:HSON) posted 2020 full-year revenues of $101.4 million, an 8.1 percent increase from a year earlier. The firm’s Americas revenue of $10.9 million decreased 20 percent, Asia-Pacific revenue of $75.6 million increased 23 percent, and Europe revenue of $14.9 million fell 21 percent. The Old Greenwich, Conn.-based recruiting firm posted a net loss of $1.2 million, or $0.43 per basic and diluted share, compared to net loss of $1.0 million, or $0.30 per basic and diluted share, in 2019. During the fourth quarter, Hudson posted revenue of $27.3 million, an increase of 7.4 percent from its previous fourth quarter. The company also recorded net income of $1.2 million, or $0.41 per basic and diluted share, vs. net income of $1.5 million, or $0.48 per basic and diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2019.
“2020 was a uniquely challenging year for our clients and our business due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeff Eberwein, CEO of Hudson Global. “However, we have begun to see activity levels rebound, especially in the life sciences and technology sectors, and we believe we are well positioned to return to growth alongside our clients in 2021.” Through 2019 and 2020, Hudson Global reduced its share count by 16 percent and continues to view share repurchases as an attractive use of capital. Under its $10 million common stock share repurchase program, the company has $1.7 million remaining.
As disclosed in previously issued Hudson Global press releases as well as in its form 10-K and form 10-Qs, business has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and the accompanying economic downturn. This downturn, as well as the uncertainty regarding the duration, spread and intensity of the outbreak, led to an initial reduction in demand for Hudson Global’s services in 2020. “Some of our customers instituted hiring freezes, while other customers that are more capable of working remotely were allowed to operate somewhat as usual. While we have seen some recovery, as evidenced by our fourth quarter results, this demand is still below pre-pandemic levels,” the firm said. “The expected timeline for full recovery in demand for our services remains uncertain and difficult to predict considering the rapidly evolving landscape but we are beginning to see signs of positive momentum at certain clients.”
Executive Search Firms Adapting to the New Normal
2020 was an unprecedented year in most respects, and a challenging year for many in the executive search industry. Senior executives across the sector, however, are generally optimistic in their outlook for the year ahead. According to two leading reports, one from Bullhorn and the other from Hunt Scanlon Media, optimism reigns supreme.
According to Hunt Scanlon, 93 percent of recruiting leaders said they are expecting growth in 2021, while 80 percent are bullish on business prospects for the new year. A full 75 percent of search executives in the 2021 Hunt Scanlon Pulse Rankings survey said they expect full growth to return by June. Fifty-nine percent of those polled said they expected to meet their targets for 2021, while 41 percent said they would exceed targets set for the year.
Hudson Global is monitoring the business environment surrounding COVID-19 and continues to proactively address this situation as it evolves. The company said it is confident that it can continue to take appropriate actions to manage the business in this challenging environment due to the flexibility of its workforce and the strength of its balance sheet.
Hudson Global shares have added about 38.1 percent since the beginning of the year vs. the S&P 500’s gain of 3.8 percent. Shares of Hudson Global were unchanged after the company reported Q4 results. Earnings per share were down 58.33 percent over the past year to $0.20, which beat the estimate of $0.07.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media