Kforce Rises on Stock Buyback Plan

Kforce.com (Nasdaq: KFRC) was up 7/32 at 5 early Monday after the Web-based staffing firm said it plans to buy back up to 10 million common shares, or 23.7 percent of the total outstanding. Kforce shares are down from a 52-week high of 18 1/4.

Kforce said it will begin a tender offer Monday for the shares at a price between $4.75 and $5.50 each, or a total of $47.5 million to $55 million. The company will finance the purchase through its credit line.

“We believe our own stock represents an attractive investment opportunity available to us, so we are investing in our future to enhance shareholder value while preserving financial flexibility,” said chief executive officer David L. Dunkel.

The tender will be a modified Dutch auction, allowing shareholders to choose a price within the specified range. The offer expires at midnight EST on December 5th.

Kforce said last month that it earned $295,000, or 1 cent per fully diluted share, in the third quarter, down from $904,000, or 2 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter rose to $202.2 million from $191.7 million.

The company said results were hurt by a low unemployment rate, leading to an “industry-wide preference toward permanent hiring.” As the trend is likely to continue into next year, the company said it is focusing on cutting expenses and building its search business.

The company, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, provides full-time and temporary staffing services to companies, as well as career management for individuals in information technology, finance and accounting, human resources, engineering, pharmaceutical, health care, legal, scientific, e-business consulting, and insurance and investments.

Kforce operates in some 40 North American markets.

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