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ON ASSIGNMENT, INC. IS RATED STRONG BUY BY UNTERBERG HARRIS

 ON ASSIGNMENT, INC. IS RATED STRONG BUY BY UNTERBERG HARRIS
 NEW YORK, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Unterberg Harris announced today that it rates On Assignment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASGN) as a strong buy recommendation at a price of $8.50 a share.
 Analyst Devon Giacalone based her recommendation on sharp earnings gains--13 consecutive quarters of profitability--and capture of a high- growth proprietary segment of the temporary service industry.
 On Assignment, through its operating division, Lab Support, is a leading provider of temporary scientific professionals to laboratories in the biotechnology, environmental, chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and petrochemical industries.
 The company focuses on one type of client--laboratories--and one type of employee--scientific professionals--while most of the industry provides primarily clerical and light-industrial employees.
 Ms. Giacalone said: "Our six- to 12-month price target is $12 to $14, using a 25-times multiple on the 1993 earnings estimate. This is based on our growth expectations for the company of about 25 percent a year over the next two years, combined with a conservative 1993 earnings estimate.
 "The company's operating goals are 40 percent gross margin, 30 percent gross profit and 12 percent pre-tax margin. To date, its gross margin is 39.7 percent, gross profit is 30.4 percent and pre-tax margin is 10.1 percent," she said.
 "On Assignment is well-positioned for the business trends of the 1990s. As companies downsize and increase their outsourcing, and employees want work-load flexibility, the use of temporaries is a fast- growing segment of industry. The market for temporary professionals is expected to grow at 12 percent annually.
 "The company is also focused on a highly attractive niche in the industry--laboratory support professionals," she added.
 On Assignment effectively and efficiently places laboratory support personnel through a special strategy: Its placement agents, called account managers, meld the customer's requirements with the employee's qualifications to fulfill the requirements of the position.
 All account managers have scientific degrees and laboratory experience, so they understand the specialized needs of the client and the employee. Most importantly, they are supported by a centralized control system, which enables On Assignment to monitor performance and track profitability on a daily basis.
 On Assignment is headquartered in Canoga Park, Calif., and has 26 branch offices nationwide.
 Unterberg Harris makes a market in this security.
 The firm, with offices in New York and San Francisco, was founded in 1989 to provide expertise in investment banking, sales and trading, and money management to emerging growth clients.
 -0- 11/3/92
 /CONTACT: Devon Giacalone of Unterberg Harris (San Francisco), 415-399-1500/
 (ASGN) CO: Unterberg Harris; On Assignment, Inc. ST: California IN: SU:


SH -- NY019 -- 1988 11/03/92 10:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 3, 1992
Words:439
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