Robert Walters Investors - RWA

Robert Walters Investors - RWA

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Stock Name Stock Symbol Market Stock Type
Robert Walters Plc RWA London Ordinary Share
  Price Change Price Change % Stock Price Last Trade
2.00 0.3% 670.00 16:35:01
Open Price Low Price High Price Close Price Previous Close
680.00 662.00 680.00 670.00 668.00
more quote information »
Industry Sector

Top Investor Posts

dab26: Hi f15jcm, Not sure about the downside when a lot of investors, understandably, seem more skittish than usual, but would certainly agree this currently looks cheap on the historic metrics and potentially interesting given the Federal Reserve and ECB look set to move to an easing bias in the foreseeable future. Regards.
randomambler: Wow this is a quiet board. I guess that RWA is totally off the radar for most investors despite its progress since 2008? Anyway I've put together a fairly lengthy analysis of Robert Walters in order to identify the investment case: hTTp:// Hope this proves interesting for somebody!
hawaly: Compnews1 Only that BREXIT is inducing a wider UK market malaise - perhaps many smaller investors, those with the opportunity to withdraw, to wait and see, are pulling funds out of the market until something more tangible transpires - mid November seems crucial. Rational actors take the back seats at times. Just my opinion..... EDIT: Having said that, the update due next week may provide a boost. GLA :-)
interceptor2: "But just feel that they might consolidate at this level for a while." How wrong could I be, but great to see new highs for holders here. Well done. Just to make myself feel better, I will use a few cliches. Always sell too early. Never possible to sell at the top. Always leave something for next investors. etc etc :o)
mikail4: RRR guys, RRR will announce positive news on greenland deal confirmation which will value RRR more than triple current mc. The announcement will come anytime this week, before the investor show which RRR is taking part on 13th April. Not to mention, some sold in last few weeks for capital gains tax reason, which means they will be buying back first thing this week. so grab a bargain in RRR or have it in your watchlist and ready to pile in as RRR can move easily from sub 1p to 5p. see 5 years chart!
abcd1234: .............................. Stock to Watch: Robert Walters Fri, 13/01/2012 - 00:00 At 177p the FTSE Small Cap shares in international professional recruitment group Robert Walters (RWA) are worth watching this year, now the price is well down on the chart - amid cautionary noises from the recruitment industry. Robert Walters tends to get traded both ways and a relatively thin market applies. Prospects will improve in due course and Walters' shares recover, it is just a matter of timing. Meanwhile the risk/reward profile looks interesting for long-term investors. RWA has halved from levels near 350p in the first half of last year - back to where it was trading in the second half of 2009. Showing how recruiters can get hit by recession, normalised pre-tax profit plunged from £18.2 million to £1.6 million in 2009, yet recovered strongly to £13.2 million in 2010. This is why RWA's forward price-earnings multiple initially appears quite high, in the mid-teens, because the market is confident the business can in future years do better than the outlook for 2012. A 6 January update cited "weaker client and candidate confidence... we therefore enter 2012 with caution", however the shares have edged up from 162p a few days before. By way of comparison, Michael Page (MPI) said in an 11 January review for 2011 that its Asia Pacific segment grew by 23.3% like-for-like in the fourth quarter of 2011. Asia, however, saw an overall 28% growth rate "slow towards the end of the quarter, as international clients in particular became more cautious, deferring or reducing their recruitment needs." This is the issue investors worry may spread. But doomsters are keeping a low profile as 2012 starts, with positive news from the US economy and as the eurozone muddles along; the predicted debacle is at least deferred. This helps explain why Page's FTSE 250 shares have jumped from about 350p to 375p after the update. More liquid than Walters' shares, they are likely to gain more attention first, although the key macroeconomic issues affecting recruiters are quite similar. If you believe in eurozone disorder exporting uncertainty to the rest of the world, and companies postponing decisions, you would avoid cyclicals like recruiters for the time being. Yet it was just such a fear that depressed share prices in late summer 2011 and to an extent remains factored in. So any easing of fears can improve cyclical shares even if their commercial outlook is little changed. Walters has also been doing well in France and Germany, despite the economic uncertainty across Europe. Net fee income during the final quarter of 2011 rose best of all in continental Europe, up 24% to £10.5 million, whereas the UK barely kept pace with inflation, up just 3% to £12.0 million. Overall, the group achieved 14% growth in net fee income, or 18% for 2011 as a whole - 15% in constant currency terms, anyway very good progress. The company looks to be evolving well internationally, it's just that sentiment has been hit by another bout of uncertainty. In the first half of last year, a sixth office was opened in Australia, a fourth in China and the first in Vietnam. New offices were planned for Indonesia, Taiwan and Germany for the second half of 2011 and it will be interesting to track how all this is coming together. With net fee income split 71% to permanent and 29% to contract professionals, the group should not be too exposed to the vagaries of short-term employment - which tends to be exposed most of all in a downturn. Last August's interims cited China and Thailand both more than doubling net fee income - easier done from a relatively low base, however Walters is positioning itself astutely for long-term growth. The board has also ensured a dividend policy, albeit a flat payout of 4.75p a share over 2008-10 which is projected to rise to about 5.2p for 2011 and possibly 5.3p in 2012, although analysts differ. The 2011 interim dividend rose by 5% to 1.47p, so things really depend on the outlook by prelims in early March. Anyway it implies an approximate 3% yield, if supported by balance sheet cash than cash flow. Note eight to the interim cash flow statement shows that after £10.1 million operating cash flow, an £11.4 million increase in receivables left this level of cash flow £2.2 million negative. Additionally there was nearly £4 million investment and a net £9.5 million decrease in cash - although the period had begun with £31.9 million cash anyway, so the cash comparative edged up. Anyway the dynamics need to weigh more to net cash generation to see much expansion in the dividend; and anyway most investors may approach this share for capital growth. The mid-2011 balance sheet looked well able to withstand a downturn. Debt involves just £9.9 million drawn down under a three-year, £20 million facility, with net finance costs of £148,000 versus £7.2 million operating profit in the first half. Unlike many "people businesses" this one does not have a lot of capitalised intangibles/goodwill. Of £64 million net assets, just £9 million comprised intangibles and there was no capitalised goodwill. Cash edged up to £22.4 million and the ratio of current assets to current liabilities was a comfortable 1.4 times. The latest update cited over £17 million net cash at the year-end, i.e. some likely being used in respect of investment and the dividend. Although visibility is notoriously low for a recruiter like this, Walters is nevertheless weighted to more dynamic countries - implying that the inevitable weak periods for its shares, being cyclical, should offer good opportunities for long-term investors to accumulate. My essential reading of the share is reflected by the top two directors' trading, if prematurely. Last August the chief operating officer added 21,455 shares at 233p, to own over 1.6 million; also Robert Walters himself, as chief executive, bought 61,223 shares at 245p jointly with his wife, and she bought an additional 20,407 shares, also at 245p. Robert Walters owns nearly 2.2 million shares so should be incentivised for growth and to limit downside. .....................................
paleje: Independent:- Robert Walters faced a stinging shareholder revolt at its annual meeting yesterday, with investors rejecting pay policies at the recruitment group. Of the votes cast, nearly 44 per cent were against the remuneration report. Another 16 per cent were withheld. The revolt came after the remuneration committee decided to award bonuses of more than the set limit of 100 per cent of salary for executive directors, the Independent reports. Sign good times are coming when the directors start awarding themselves obscene rises. They quickly forget the bad times, good job shareholders don't:)
v11slr: March 21, 2009 Robert Walters' move is only one of a number of promising portents Nick Hasell: Tempus Robert Walters, chief executive of the quoted recruitment consultancy that bears his name, is usually worth watching. Although director's dealings can be an unreliable cue for outside investors, Mr Walters – who founded the company 24 years ago – has considerable form. In 2003, a matter of weeks after what proved the bottom of a savage three-year bear market, he bought 159,000 shares at 61p. Four years later, just as his company's valuation peaked, he offloaded 2.9 million shares in three tranches at prices up to 360p. Stock in Robert Walters – demonstrating the severe cyclicality for which its sector is known – has since slumped 78 per cent. So yesterday's after-hours disclosure that Mr Walters – alongside Giles Daubeney, chief operating officer, and Alan Bannatyne, finance director – has picked up stock at 82¼p (some £173,000 worth between the three) might command greater interest than usual. Not least because it comes at a time when the outlook for recruiters has rarely looked bleaker. US and UK employment data gets worse by the month, and GDP forecasts for the world's major industrialised nations – to which the staffing sector's fortunes are most closely correlated – continue to be revised downwards. Other usually reliable economic indicators also give cause for concern. For example, the number of manufacturing overtime hours worked in America – a traditional proxy for US demand for temporary personnel – has recently collapsed to levels not seen since 1983. This month's brace of full-year results from UK recruiters only deepened the gloom. Michael Page International, commonly regarded as the industry's bellwether, reported that constant currency profits in the first two months of this year were down 38 per cent – to the point where it is now operating at breakeven. For a company that simultaneously reported pretax profits of £140 million for 2008, that is something of a turnaround. It also helps to explain why Goldman Sachs this week slashed its earnings forecasts for the European staffing sector by nearly one third, and now predicts Page will make just £19 million of operating profits this year, and fall into a £1 million operating loss in 2010. The travails of the recruitment sector are neatly captured by the graph below. Shares in Robert Walters, which draws the majority of fee income from financial services, have lost 40 per cent of their value since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September. In contrast, those of Penna Consulting, a specialist in "career transition services" – human resources jargon for helping sacked workers to find jobs – have risen by 40 per cent. But for those who see yesterday's boardroom buying at Walters as a significant straw in the wind, there are other promising portents. Rumours that Switzerland's Adecco is still on the prowl for a UK target refuse to subside. It has a €1 billion (£943 million) war chest, and having last year made a 400p-a-share tilt at Page, it is reasonable to assume that current depressed valuations give Adecco a good opportunity to fulfil its longheld ambition of diversifying away from its blue-collar base. Elsewhere, KBC Peel Hunt, the stockbroker, this week counselled its clients to buy selectively back into the sector. Henry Carver, analyst, contends that with share prices at five-year lows, investors should look beyond what he expects to prove the trough in the sector's profitability in 2009 and 2010. But that contrarian call is not solely based on the view that a severe downturn has now been priced into recruiters' shares. In addition, Mr Carver cites the likelihood of permanent structural changes in the way that employers manage their demand for labour. Although the market for temporary staff is well developed in the US and UK – job mobility is high and taking on temps is an accepted way for companies to flex their workforce to cater for peaks and troughs – it is still immature in many other parts of the world. In France, for example, long-standing regulations which effectively stymied temporary employment have only just been relaxed. In Asia, the job-for-life mentality is rapidly disappearing. Meanwhile, the shift towards so-called "recruitment process outsourcing" – using an external consultancy to do the work of an internal HR department – continues to gather pace, and is likely to continue doing so given the scope for cutting overheads. Equally, the bulk of recruiters are far more diversified than during the last downturn – both by geography and sectoral disciplines – and sport strong cash balances and solid dividend yields: 7 per cent in the case of Hays. But monitoring short-term movements in a recruiter's finances is fraught with difficulty. The requirement for an agency to pay the temps on its books before it gets paid by its client means that a recruiter's cash position actually improves when placements are drying up. Seasonality is also significant. March is the sector's first big trading month of the year. That suggests that less intrepid investors might await Page's first-quarter trading update – due on April 7 – before following Mr Walters' bold example.
imastu pidgitaswell: Doing remarkably well lately - in the teeth of all the other recruiters reporting dire trading and outlooks. RWA will be facing the same, so why the rise? Just too cheap in the first place, hence value investor purchasing (see below), or bid spec? Not on board myself, last sold at 132, so could get back in quite happily, but I guess I'll wait for a pullback (if it happens).
gswredland: In this market a quick 20% profit in a few days and investors are out. It was inevitable.
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