Korn/Ferry International reported fourth-quarter net income rose to $20.3 million (45 cents per share) compared with $11.7 million (27 cents) a year ago. Excluding a one-time tax benefit, the company posted a profit of 31 cents, beating Wall Street estimates.

Sales at the Los Angeles-based executive search firm rose 17 percent from last year to $145.3 million, compared with Wall Street forecasts for $140 million in revenue. The company said its fourth-quarter profit was boosted by a one-time tax benefit and strong revenue growth.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected more modest earnings of 29 cents per share on lower revenue of $141.3 million.

Korn/Ferry forecast a first-quarter profit before one-time items in the range of 28 to 33 cents a share, with first-quarter revenue in the range of $138 million to $145 million.

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