Falling demand for its executive recruiting services contributed to Korn/Ferry International reporting a loss for its fiscal third quarter, sending its share price down more than 13 percent on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles staffing company reported a net loss of $22.4 million (-52 cents per share) for the quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with net income of $16.3 million (38 cents) a year ago.
Revenue fell 32 percent to more than $145 million as the company saw a decline of more than 33 percent in the number of executive search engagements and a drop of more than 16 percent in the average fee billed per engagement.
Excluding a $16.8 million restructuring charge and a $15.3 million asset impairment charge, the company said it earned 8 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected adjusted earnings of 10 cents per share on revenue of $154 million.
Korn/Ferry warned it may also report an operating loss in its fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting a profit of 8 cents a share. The company which announced a 15 percent staff reduction in December, said more cuts were possible.
"Despite our leading brand and diversified strategy, unfortunately we have not been immune from the recession that has affected virtually every company conducting business today," said Chief Executive Gary D. Burnison in a statement.
The company also announced that Chief Financial Officer Steve Giusto would step down for personal reasons.
Korn Ferry shares closed down $1.24, or 13.5 percent, to $7.95 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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