Resources Connection, Inc. :RECN-US: Earnings Analysis: Q1, 2017 By the Numbers : October 11, 2016

Resources Connection, Inc. reports financial results for the quarter ended August 31, 2016.


  • Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 143.39 million, Net Earnings of USD 5.64 million.
  • Gross margins narrowed from 38.14% to 37.47% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 7.61% from 9.10%.
  • Change in operating cash flow of -54.95% compared to same period last year is about the same as change in earnings, likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves.
  • Narrowing of operating margins contributed to decline in earnings.

The table below shows the preliminary results and recent trends for key metrics such as revenues and net income growth:

2015-08-31 2015-11-30 2016-02-29 2016-05-31 2016-08-31
Relevant Numbers (Quarterly)
Revenues (mil) 148.34 150.89 146.78 152.52 143.39
Revenue Growth (%YOY) 3.41 -0.4 -0.04 2.49 -3.34
Earnings (mil) 7.13 8.68 5.96 8.68 5.64
Earnings Growth (%YOY) 32.22 8.23 -0.53 7.02 -20.96
Net Margin (%) 4.81 5.75 4.06 5.69 3.93
EPS 0.19 0.23 0.16 0.23 0.15
Return on Equity (%) 8.35 10.07 6.91 10.12 6.57
Return on Assets (%) 6.94 8.45 5.79 8.37 5.47

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Market Share Versus Profits

Revenues History
Earnings History

Compared to the same period last year, RECN-US‘s change in revenue was close to the amount of its change in earnings. It remains to be seen how the rest of its peer group’s results will turn out and if RECN-US‘s performance is a sign of any major shift in the composition of market share in this sector. Also, for comparison purposes, revenues changed by -5.98% and earnings by -35.02% compared to the previous period.

Earnings Growth Analysis

The company’s year-on-year decline in earnings was influenced by a weakening in gross margins from 38.14% to 37.47%, as well as issues with cost controls. As a result, operating margins (EBITDA margins) went from 9.10% to 7.61% in this time frame. For comparison, gross margins were 39.37% and EBITDA margins were 10.84% in the previous period.

Gross Margin Trend

Companies sometimes sacrifice improvements in revenues and margins in order to extend friendlier terms to customers and vendors. Capital Cube probes for such activity by comparing the changes in gross margins with any changes in working capital. If the gross margins improved without a worsening of working capital, it is possible that the company’s performance is a result of truly delivering in the marketplace and not simply an accounting prop-up using the balance sheet.

Gross Margin History
Working Capital Days History

RECN-US‘s decline in gross margins has not produced any significant offsetting improvement in its working capital . This leads Capital Cube to conclude that the decline in gross margins are likely from operating issues and not trade-offs with the balance sheet. Working capital days are currently 96.82 days, compared to last year’s level of 94.37 days.

Cash Versus Earnings – Sustainable Performance?

RECN-US‘s year-on-year change in operating cash flow of -54.95% is around its change in earnings. This suggests that there are likely no significant movement in accruals or reserves for managing earnings this period.


The company’s decline in earnings has been influenced by the following factors: (1) Decline in operating margins (EBIT margins) from 8.51% to 7.06% and (2) one-time items that contributed to a decrease in pretax margins from 8.53% to 7.11%

EBIT Margin History
PreTax Margin History

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Company Profile

Resources Connection, Inc. operates as a multinational professional services firm. Through its subsidiary Resources Global Professionals, Inc., it provides consulting and business initiative support services to its global client base in the areas of accounting; finance; corporate governance, risk and compliance management; corporate advisory, strategic communications and restructuring; information management; human capital; supply chain management; healthcare solutions; and legal and regulatory services. The company was founded by Donald Brian Murray in June 1996 and is headquartered in Irvine, CA.

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