TrueBlue, Inc. (NYSE:TBI)’s share price traded up 14.1% on Tuesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock traded as high as $27.45 and last traded at $27.10. 789,320 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 178% from the average session volume of 283,988 shares. The stock had previously closed at $23.75.

The business services provider reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.02. TrueBlue had a net margin of 2.27% and a return on equity of 15.18%. The company had revenue of $660.78 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $651.91 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.70 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis.

TrueBlue announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Monday, October 30th that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of TrueBlue from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Robert W. Baird upped their price objective on shares of TrueBlue from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective (down previously from $26.00) on shares of TrueBlue in a research report on Friday, August 11th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of TrueBlue from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of TrueBlue from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. TrueBlue presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $22.33.

In other TrueBlue news, EVP Wayne W. Larkin sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.00, for a total value of $230,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 52,061 shares in the company, valued at $1,197,403. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of TrueBlue by 0.6% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 17,300 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $458,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its position in shares of TrueBlue by 0.4% in the second quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 43,510 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,153,000 after acquiring an additional 165 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in shares of TrueBlue by 0.5% in the second quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 37,797 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,002,000 after acquiring an additional 192 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in shares of TrueBlue by 0.9% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 22,228 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $589,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of TrueBlue by 0.3% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 76,965 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,104,000 after acquiring an additional 264 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.76% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $22.90 and a 200 day moving average price of $24.42. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.14 and a beta of 2.40.

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About TrueBlue

TrueBlue, Inc is a provider of specialized workforce solutions. The Company is engaged in providing staffing, on-site workforce management and recruitment process outsourcing services. The Company operates through three segments: PeopleReady, PeopleManagement and PeopleScout. Its PeopleReady segment provides blue-collar contingent staffing through the PeopleReady service line.

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