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Robert Walters zips higher as it upgrades forecasts for third time in 2017

The recruiter said strong trading in the opening two months of the final quarter means full-year pre-tax profits are on track to come in “materially ahead” of current expectations
Robert Walters also upgraded its guidance in July and October

Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA) was in demand on Tuesday after the recruiter said it would beat full-year expectations for the third time this year.

The London-based group upgraded its guidance in both July and October after it notched up record performances in each of the first three quarters this year.

READ: Robert Walters upgrades forecasts after record Q3

It stopped short of saying that the fourth quarter was also on track to be another record, but it did tell investors that trading across all of the group’s regions so far in the period had been strong.

As a result, pre-tax profits for the 12 months to 31 December are now expected to be “materially ahead of current market expectations”.

READ: Record second quarter performance at Robert Walters

Robert Walters said it would publish a more in-depth update on 9 January.

Broker upgrades forecasts after “unusually strong” fourth quarter

“With activity in October and November unusually strong in a number of its core markets the company has issued a surprise trading update,” wrote Liberum analyst Rahim Karim.

“As a result of this we expect consensus net fee income to increase by £4-5mln (c1%), and given the timing of this benefit we anticipate an extremely high level of drop-through on these incremental revenues.

“Reflecting this we would expect group profit before tax to increase by £3-4mln, implying an increase in consensus PBT forecasts of around 10%.

“This upgrade should be received positively by the market and expect the shares to be stronger today despite the stellar year-to-date performance.”

Karim repeated his ‘buy’ recommendation but lifted his target price to 650p (from 595p) on the back of the trading update.

Shares jumped 8% to 595p on Tuesday.

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