(MAN) Manpower Analyst Upgrades Shares to Outperform

We recently upgraded our recommendation on ManpowerGroup (MAN) to Outperform with a price target of $61.00. Moreover, the company also holds a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term ‘Strong Buy’ rating and correlates with our long-term outlook. Earlier, we had a Neutral stance on the stock.

Manpower’s comprehensive range of services makes it a true global staffing firm. The company provides services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment, employee assessment and selection, training, outplacement, outsourcing and consulting.

The company’s brand value and strong global network provides it a competitive advantage and reinforces its dominance in the market. Manpower leverages a strong network of about 3,900 offices, spanning across 80 countries and serving approximately 400,000 clients. It benefits from growth prospects in under-penetrated staffing markets.

Earlier, Manpower posted better-than-expected first-quarter 2011 results that topped the Zacks expectations on the heels of revenue growth across all geographical regions and several European and emerging markets portraying robust trends. Better expense control also lent support to the bottom line. Moreover, Manpower witnessed a surge in permanent recruitment business.

The quarterly earnings of 43 cents a share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents and rose substantially from 4 cents earned in the prior-year quarter. Foreign currency fluctuation favorably impacted net earnings by 3 cents a share. Net earnings also surpassed management’s guidance range of 26 cents to 34 cents a share.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Manpower said that its total revenue for the quarter soared 23.7% to $5,072.4 million from the prior-year quarter, and 21.8% in constant currency. The quarterly revenue also came well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,894 million.

Manpower expects second-quarter 2011 earnings in the range of 74 cents to 82 cents a share, including a favorable impact of 8 cents from foreign currency translation. The company projected total revenue growth of 10% to 12% in constant currency for the quarter.

Manpower, which competes with Kelly Services Inc. (KELYA), is on an acquisition spree in China. In a recent development, the company announced the acquisition of a majority stake in REACH HR, a leading human capital contributor in the manufacturing sector with 100,000 associates in Guangdong Province. Manpower also acquired Xi’an Fesco, a leading human resources provider with 10,000 associates in Shaanxi Province.

Further, Manpower also entered into a partnership with the City of Kaifeng in Henan Province, gaining access to millions of workforce in North Central China. The move not only strengthened Manpower’s position in China but also places it among the country’s largest providers of pioneering staff solutions, starting from administrative or managerial hunt and recruitment process outsourcing to outsized recruitments and short-term staffing.

Given the strong fundamentals of Manpower, we believe that the stock will outperform the broader market in the long run.

KELLY SVCS A (KELYA): Free Stock Analysis Report

MANPOWER INC WI (MAN): Free Stock Analysis Report

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