More job hunters? Monster Worldwide shares soar

The online career site gets a big boost after topping fourth-quarter estimates, and expects continuing demand for its products.

By MSN Money staff Feb 6, 2014 5:50PM website © Eric Carr, Alamy
By Jennifer Booton, Fox Business

Fox Business on MSN MoneyShares of Monster Worldwide (MWW) climbed to nearly 23 percent Thursday after the careers website posted a fourth-quarter top-line beat, signaling more job hunters are using its services to emerge from unemployment or find new opportunities.

The company also predicted sales momentum would continue in the near term, particularly in its key North American and European markets.

"We delivered sequential revenue growth in North America and Europe reflecting increased demand for Monster's products," the company's chief executive, Sal Iannuzzi, said in a statement. "We believe these positive sales trends will continue into 2014."

Revenue for the three-month period ended Dec. 31 was $199 million, down from $211.2 million a year ago but beating the Street’s view of $195.3 million.

The digital job-finding service reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $19.9 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $73 million, or 66 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, Monster said it earned 11 cents, which excludes costs related to stock-based compensation.

This is the first quarter Monster excluded stock-based compensation in non-GAAP EPS, and analysts say the current EPS estimates on Thomson Reuters for the fourth and first quarters -- which are currently five cents and six cents, respectively -- do not provide apples-to-apples comparisons because they do not include stock-based compensation.

While Evercore (EVR) updated its fourth-quarter non-GAAP EPS estimate to 13 cents to reflect that change (which is a slight miss from the 11 cents reported by Monster but falls within the upper half of the company's internal range of 10 to 13 cents), the brokerage said it seems Thomson Reuters and FactSet did not update their consensus data.

"I think the comparisons are all wrong because this is the first quarter Monster has not included stock-based compensation," Evercore analyst Douglas Arthur told FOX Business. "It's apples and oranges out there."

Despite the confusion, shares of Monster were up nearly 23 percent to $7.24 in recent trading, which Arthur said is a reflection of the fourth-quarter revenue beat and optimistic outlook.

In the current quarter, Monster is anticipating non-GAAP earnings in the range of 6 cents to 10 cents a share, excluding $9 million in stock-based compensation costs.

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Tags: MWW
Feb 7, 2014 10:41AM
Isn't Monster a free service to job hunters.  So even if more people are using the site it doesn't translate to more revenue.
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