Hudson Global Posts Small First Quarter Revenue Gain

May 8, 2017 – Hudson Global Inc. / (NASDAQ:HSON) posted first quarter revenues of $103.4 million, up 2.2 percent percent in constant currency, from a year ago.

By region, Hudson Asia Pacific led the way, recording a revenue gain of 16.9 percent while Hudson America had a revenue increase of 12.5 percent. Meanwhile, Hudson Europe continues to struggle posting a revenue decrease of 15 percent.

The New York-based recruiting company posted a net loss of $1.3 million, or $0.04 per basic and diluted share, compared with net loss of $3.5 million, or $0.10 per basic and diluted share, for the first quarter of 2016.

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“We delivered solid gross margin growth in key markets around the globe, led by Belgium, Australia/New Zealand, France and the Americas,” said Stephen Nolan, chief executive officer. “We are pleased to report positive adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter for the first time since 2011, as we benefited from our focus on growth and disciplined execution in core markets and practices.”

Share Repurchase Program 

During the first quarter, Hudson Global continued its share repurchase program which has an authorization of up to $10 million of the company’s common stock. The company purchased 277,025 shares for $0.3 million as part of the repurchase program during the first quarter. Since the inception of this program in the third quarter of 2015 through the end of the first quarter of 2017, Hudson has purchased 3,266,152 shares for $6.8 million.

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Given current economic conditions, Hudson expects second quarter 2017 revenue of between $104 million and $114 million and adjusted EBITDA of between $1 million and $3 million at prevailing exchange rates. In the second quarter of 2016, revenue was $113.1 million and adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $0.7 million.

Shareholder Activity

Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hudson Global from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating. In addition, major shareholder Sagard Capital Partners, L.P. sold 1.1 million shares of the stock in a recent transaction. The shares were sold at an average price of $1.80, for a total value of $1,980,000. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Currently, just 12.2 percent of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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ManpowerGroup posted revenues of $4.8 billion, an increase of four percent, compared to revenues of $4.5 billion a year ago. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $4.69 billion. The company sees broad-based hiring improvements in Europe, setting the stage for slow but sustained labor market recovery in the region.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in Hudson. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in the company by 14.8 percent in the first quarter. Renaissance now owns 248,096 shares of the company’s stock valued at $588,000 after buying an additional 31,996 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Hudson Global by 2.3 percent in the first quarter. Geode now owns 95,731 shares of the company’s stock valued at $226,000 after buying an additional 2,119 shares during the period. And Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. boosted its position by 0.8 percent in the second quarter. Frontier now owns 521,901 shares valued at $1,028,000 after buying an additional 4,269 shares during the period. Institutional investors currently own just under 75 percent of the company’s stock.

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Shares in Hudson rose 1.60 percent upon the release of its earnings to $1.40. The company has a current market cap of $44 million.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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