Rather Than Law School Tuition, Invest in Robert Half International
Law school is turning out to be a terrible investment due to the dire shape of the legal industry after The Great Recession. There are layoffs, reductions in law school classes and failures of once-prominent firms.
Profiting from the woes of the legal industry have been the shareholders of Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI), a staffing sector firm with a specialty in placing members of the legal profession whose stock price has soared.
Due to the impact of The Great Recession, the legal industry has been decimated.
Corporations are cutting back on payments to law firms, challenging bills that were previously paid. As pointed out in an article in The Wall Street Journal by Ashby Jones and Joe Palazollo, "Clients are putting increasing pressure on law firms to cut costs in the wake of recession, asking for deep discounts or demanding fixed fees for big cases or transactions, rather than per-hour rates. Many are refusing to pay for work done by a firm's youngest lawyers, who are often viewed as inefficient and overpriced. Firms that don't yield to the clients' demands are finding themselves with less work and lower productivity."
That has increased the demand for the products and services of Robert Half International and others in the $100 billion staffing industry. More project lawyers are used now by firms and others. As a result, the stock price for Robert Half is up almost 50 percent for the last year. Earnings-per-share this year are up more than 40 percent for Robert Half International.
It has been that way for the entire staffing industry.
Paychex (NASDAQ: PAYX), the largest firm in the sector, is up nearly 40 percent for 2013. Labor SMART (OTC: LTNC), one of the smallest, just reported record revenues. The shareholders of ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) have enjoyed a run-up in the share price of over 100 percent for the last year.
Now trading $39 a share, the mean analyst target price for Robert Half International over the next year is $44.43. The 1.64 percent dividend adds to the total return for the stock. For those looking to profit from the legal industry, investing in Robert Half looks to be far more promising that years of law school tuition followed by unemployment.
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