Monster Reports Good Financial News; Stock Takes Big Jump

job board revenue 3rd q 2013For the first time in a while, the Monster had good financial news to report this morning. Not only did it swing to a profit in the third quarter, but it earned more per share than the analysts were predicting.

The global careers company reported earning $11.3 million during the quarter, which translates into 11 cents per share, not including one-time expenses, which are typically not counted in Wall Street earning analysis. Analysts had estimated the company would earn 8 cents a share.

In the same quarter last year, Monster lost $184.2 million, or $1.73 a share. Most of that was the result of the company’s sale at a loss of its ChinaHR careers operation and related expenses.

Announcing the results in advance of an early morning conference call with analysts, Monster’s Chairman, CEO and President Sal Iannuzzi credited stabilization of the recruiting environment in North America, as well as tight control of expenses for the third quarter showing.

Later, during the conference call,  he said, “In this quarter, revenue from most channels remained flat sequentially, indicating a bottom had been reached here in North America. We are encouraged by these signs and are cautiously optimistic it will will continue, providing support for some sequential revenue growth in our U.S. business in Q4.”

Investors reacted positively to the news, bidding up Monster’s stock to just over $5 a share, a 15.26% jump. Besides the earnings announcement, the stock was also  buoyed by Monster’s sale of a minority stake in JobKorea to equity firm H&Q Korea  for $90 million. It also helped that the company said it expected to earn between 9 and 13 cents a share in the current quarter, which is more than Wall Street’s estimates.

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Monster also said it was expanding its relationship with Finland’s Alma Media, operator of a number of career sites in the Baltics and central Europe. The joint venture combines Monster’s money losing operations in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland with Alma’s properties, giving the venture dominance in some parts of Europe.

Despite, however, the bottom line turnaround from last year, revenue in each segment was down, both over last year and from the second quarter. Compared to 2012, the first nine months of the year has seen Monster’s revenue decline 10.3%. Particularly hard hit has been its international revenue, which is off 18.9% compared to last year.

CareerBuilder, Monster’s largest competitor, is privately held (media giant Gannett is its largest shareholder) and doesn’t disclose most of its financials. However, it does publicly announce its North American revenue which grew in the third quarter by 2.4% over 2012. In the first nine months of this year, CareerBuilder had North American revenue of $513 million. Monster’s total was $335.3 million.

Compared to the other publicly held career sites — Dice Holdings and LinkedIn — Monster is the only one to see revenue continuing to decline. LinkedIn, which became a public company only two years ago, already has recruitment revenue larger than Monster’s. Dice, which operates multiple niche sites, is up 8.7% over 2012.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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