Monster Revenue Up 33%, Online Recruiter Passes $1 Billion for Year

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By: E&P Staff

Monster Worldwide Inc., which is fighting newspaper-run CareeerBuilder.com for dominance in online job sites, said Thursday fourth-quarter revenue was up 33% over the same period in 2005 to $298.6 million, and that in 2006 it surpassed $1 billion in annual revenues for the first time.

Net income for the quarter was up 8% to $39.1 million, or 30 cents per share, compared $36.1 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue at the Monster Careers revenue jumped 34% to $258.3 million, compared to $193.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2005, chiefly on a 63% surge from its international businesses of $89.9 million. Revenue in Monster Career’s North American business increased 22% to $168.3 million.

Free cash flow declined to $27.6 million in the quarter, compared to $33.8 million a year ago. “Federal income tax payments, professional fees related to the stock option investigations, and higher capital expenditures contributed to lower free cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2006,” Monster said.

For the year ended Dec. 31, Monster Worldwide reported total revenue of $1.12 billion, up 36% from $818.3 million in 2005.

Monster Careers revenue grew 36% to $964.3 million compared with $708.7 million in 2005, driven by revenue growth of 26% in North America to $658.1 million and 64% in International to $306.3 million.

Monster Worldwide reported income from continuing operations of $153.6 million, or $1.17 per diluted share compared with $90.4 million, or $0.72 per diluted share in 2005.

“We accomplished several significant corporate milestones in 2006 as revenue surpassed the $1 billion mark; our International segment achieved higher levels of profitability as the year progressed; and the Internet Advertising & Fees segment emerged as a diversified growth opportunity,” Monster Worldwide President and CEO William Pastore said in a statement.

Monster noted that during the fourth quarter it announced strategic newspaper alliances with Freedom Communications, Inc.; Times Publishing Company, owner of the St. Petersburg Times; North Jersey Media Group, owner of The Record in Bergen County, N.J.; Oahu Publications Inc., owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin; Wilkes-Barre Publishing Company, Inc., owner of the Times Leader; and Beacon Journal Publishing Inc., owner of The Akron Beacon Journal.

“To date, Monster has forged relationships with seven media companies that represent 45 daily newspapers, with a print circulation of over 2 million people,” the company said.

Wachovia Securities said Monster’s fourth-quarter results were slightly ahead of its estimates on revenue, and that its career segment “remains strong.”

Wachovia analyst John Janedis said its 2007 outlook was “solid.”

Goldman, Sachs said Monster’s total revenue and operating income for the quarter “were spot-on our estimates, with International operations a little better than modeled, advertising and fees a little lower, and domestic in line” with expectations.

“All-in-all, a very solid quarter given weaker trends in the domestic employment market,” Goldman, Sachs analyst Peter P. Appert said in a note to investors.

Both analysts rated Monster “neutral.”

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