Barrett Business Services reports robust 4Q earnings

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

Published:

Updated: February 5, 2014, 4:59 PM

 

Barrett Business Services Inc., the Vancouver-based supplier of staffing and outsourced human resources services, continues to surf a wave of growth, bringing in fourth-quarter net revenue of $144.5 million. That’s up 27 percent from $113.7 million in the October-to-December period in 2012, the company said Wednesday during its quarterly earnings conference call.

Barrett posted a profit of $5.6 million in the fourth quarter, or 74 cents per share. That compares with a profit of $5.8 million, or 80 cents per share, during the same three-month period in 2012.

For all of 2013, the company hauled in net revenue of $532.8 million, up 32 percent from $402.7 million in 2012. Barrett reported a $17.9 million profit for all of 2013 — an increase of 36 percent from $13.1 million in 2012.

James Miller, chief financial officer for Barrett, said Wednesday that the company is “well-positioned for continued growth in 2014 and beyond.”

The company, which has more than 3,000 clients in 23 states, is a pioneer of “professional employer organization” services. Under that system, Barrett becomes a co-employer of a client’s workforce, handling human resources responsibilities, including workers’ compensation claims.

Its clients include electronics manufacturers, light-industrial companies, forest products and agriculture-based businesses, transportation and shipping enterprises, and food processing and telecommunications companies.

Two new offices

The company’s president and CEO, Michael Elich, said 2013 “was a great year for BBSI in many ways.” The company’s success included gaining a net 120 clients in the fourth quarter of last year. This year, Elich said, Barrett plans to open two new offices — one in San Luis Obispo, Calif., the other in Reno, Nev.

The company continues “to see strength within our existing client base,” he said, and Barrett’s primary focus is to expand in its existing markets.

“It makes no sense to get ahead of ourselves too much,” Elich added.

Elich said the company also completed several major strategic initiatives in 2013, including shifting to “our new payroll and data technology platform,” which the company expects will improve its services.

Miller, the company’s CFO, said Barrett remains committed to making investments that will support “a much larger and mature organization.”

The company’s sales, general and administrative expenses — which include costs associated with such things as running an office, advertising, and research and development — increased by roughly 26 percent to $16.9 million in the fourth quarter. That increase reflected higher incentive pay for company employees at branch offices and increases in “management payroll to support continued business growth,” Miller said.

The company’s stock, which trades as BBSI, closed down $7.13 Wednesday, at $70.70 per share. The company’s shares have traded between $38.15 and $102.20 in the past 52 weeks.