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Volt Information Sciences shares pop on shrinking of fiscal 4Q loss

The bulk of Volt's business is conducted in North America, which notched $220.5 million in sales during the quarter
Thanks to lower labor and consulting costs, the New York company kept a lid on expenses

Volt Information Sciences (NYSEAMERICAN:VISI) saw its loss shrink in the fiscal fourth quarter from the previous reporting period as the staffing services provider pared back its expenses.

In a statement, CEO Linda Perneau reported that improvement in same-store revenue, gross margin expansion and careful expense management were notable in the quarter.

“At the top line, we are beginning to realize the benefits from changes to the North American Staffing segment’s organizational structure, designed to strengthen its service delivery, coupled with a much more robust sales engine,” Perneau said.

“In addition, our focus on driving retail growth in commercial and professional job categories, as well as our renewed emphasis on direct hire business, contributed to a 160 basis point year-over-year improvement in gross margin on a same-store basis,” she added.

READ: Volt Information Sciences CEO Michael Dean steps down amid board shake-up

For the three months ending on October 28, Volt’s net revenue came in at $264.8 million, up from $257.8 million in the previous quarter, but down from the $288.48 million posted in the year-ago period.

The results missed the consensus revenue estimate on Wall Street of $288.48 million. But investors applauded the results, sending Volt shares up 2% to $2.95 in after-hours trade on Wednesday.

Volt's net loss from continuing operations also fell to $2.9 million or a loss of $0.14 per share, compared with a loss of $11.418 million, or $0.54 per share, in the previous period.  The results compare less favorably to the corresponding year-ago period when Volt’s net income amounted to $38.1 million.

Thanks to lower labor and consulting costs, the New York company kept a lid on expenses in the quarter, with its selling, administrative and operating costs dropping to $41.26 million from $50.14 million in the year-ago period.

The bulk of its business continued to be conducted in North America, with the region's net revenue coming in at $220.5 million compared to $215.7 million in the previous quarter.  Revenue from Volt’s international staffing business dipped slightly from the previous period to $27.29 million.

Volt’s total gross margin in the quarter came in at 16.6%, notching a 160 basis points improvement year-over year, when adjusted for businesses sold.

Volt is a global provider of staffing services.


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