HR outsourcer TriNet stock soars after IPO

Outsourcing has been very good to TriNet, an HR services company based in San Leandro, Calif.

Last week, TriNet went public, selling off 15 million shares at $16 a pop. By the end of the first day’s trading, the company and its investors were $240 million richer. By Monday afternoon, shares were still trading well above the launch price, at nearly $22.

Why the excitement over this veteran provider of rather prosaic HR solutions?

For one, outsourcing is all the rage, and TriNet has been growing like gangbusters of late, adding 10 new offices nationwide in the last couple years for a total of 60.

It now boasts 9,000 client firms and employs more than 300 HR professionals. Plus it offers cloud-based services, another hot button for clients determined to partner with those on the cutting edge of technology.

Then there’s Burton Goldfield, its president and CEO. Goldfield cut his teeth as a manager in the software business, helping to build up companies that were eventually bought by the likes of IBM and Oracle.

TriNet’s website has this to say about its boss: “Since joining TriNet as president and CEO in 2008, Burton has led TriNet to become the largest independent cloud-based HR provider leveraging the professional employer organization (PEO) model to help small businesses. He is known for driving product innovation and growth.”

Venturebeat reported that TriNet revenue, fueled by acquisitions, rose 61 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, to $1.64 billion. Net income fell from $31.83 million in 2012 to $13.15 million last year as the company digested the acquisitions.

In an interview with Venturebeat, Goldfield said the company had solid “organic” sales growth of 18 percent apart from the purchases.

“We are really pleased with our ability to grow in this unpenetrated market,” he said. “We believe we’ll be around for a long, long time, and this is just the next step in our evolution.”

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