Korn/Ferry Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of recruiting specialist Korn/Ferry (NYS: KFY) were getting fired by investors today, falling by as much as 12% in intraday trading after announcing fiscal second-quarter earnings.

So what: During the quarter, Korn/Ferry's revenue rose 8.7% from last year and operating income, on an adjusted basis, climbed 16%. However, the company's adjusted earnings per share fell 3% to $0.32, missing the $0.34 target that Wall Street analysts had set.

On the bright side, revenue for the quarter was above expectations and the adjusted operating margin rose to 12.7% from 11.8% last year. On the executive recruitment side of the business, engagements billed and new engagements were up 14% and 3%, respectively.

Now what: In its reaction to earnings announcements, the market often focuses itself on simply whether a company hurdled or missed Wall Street's earnings expectation. For Kern/Ferry, the quarter was certainly a disappointment in that frame, but in a yet-tough economy, the quarter doesn't look overly poor. However, the company added further to investors' pessimism by projecting earnings for the next quarter between $0.25 to $0.33, below the analyst-expected $0.35.

The economy is clearly taking the wind out of Korn/Ferry's sails right now, but Foolish investors will be best served by looking at the big picture rather than simply being quick on the trigger in today's sell-off.

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