Monster released its financials for 2008 this afternoon and the numbers give mute testimony to the impact of the worldwide recession on the recruitment market.
For the last quarter of 2008 Monster reported revenues of $290.7 million and earnings per share of 24 cents. This is off from last year and below analysts’ expectations, falling at the lower end of Wall Street’s estimates.
The biggest hit came in the company’s North American sales which were off 22.1 percent in the 4th quarter from the same quarter in 2007. For the year, North American sales were off 9.8 percent.
The silver lining, thin as it may be, is that the company managed to eke out a 1.5 percent increase in revenue for the full year, due mostly to a 17.9 percent growth for the year in international sales. However, the recession’s global impact began to be felt in the 4th quarter. International sales were off 14.3 percent, coming in at $122.8 million, just $12.3 million less than the $135.1 million Monster generated in North America.
However the company’s operating expenses were almost $70 million more in 2008, which made a big dent in the earnings per share for the year. More than of half that – $40 million – is attributed for legal expenses in connection with the lawsuits arising out of the stock options backdating of several years ago.
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Monster reported diluted earnings of $1.03 per share in 2008 vs. $1.12 in 2007.
Last year, Monster had $347.8 million in revenue for the 4th quarter and $1.324 billion for all of 2007.
Analysts had been expecting 4th quarter revenue in the range of $279.1 to $331.4 million with the average being $311.6 million. Earnings had been expected in the range of 21 to 33 cents per share with the average being 27 cents.
Monster, like most publicly held companies, reports numbers in a variety of different ways to make it easier for analysts to make comparisons. Numbers used here are from the company’s operations statements.