Job Boards See Strong Q1 Growth

Apr 28, 2011
This article is part of a series called Financial.

Double-digit revenue increases are being reported by the leading U.S. job boards. Dice and Monster, both publicly held, reported their first quarter financial results today.

Dice Holdings brought in $40.1 million, which was 49 percent over revenue during the same period last year. The biggest portion came from its tech board,, which saw a 35 percent year-over-year increase. Its eFinancialCareers site grew even more aggressively. Revenue there was up 48 percent, the company reported this morning.

Monster reported its overall revenue was $261.4 million, a 21 percent improvement over the same quarter in 2010. That number includes an adjustment relating to the acquisition of HotJobs. Excluding the one-time charges, Monster’s revenue was $264 million and it earned 5 cents a share, beating the 3 cents per share average of analysts’ estimates.

Dice, too, beat Wall Street, reporting 9 cents a share, versus analysts’ 8 cents per share expectations. The Street expected total revenue to come in at $39.4 million, which Dice also beat.

Monster’s big tell on hiring trends is the 24 percent year-over-year increase in bookings. The $272.5 million is the value of job posting and resume contracts signed during the quarter. It’s a strong sign of continuing improvement in the worldwide economy, and solid evidence that companies expect to continue to increase their hiring.

Indeed, Monster expects hiring growth to continue, predicting that its bookings for the current quarter and for the year would be 20-25 percent above 2010.

Bookings grew across most industries “across North America and all the regions across North America,” said James Langrock, executive vice president and chief financial officer, commenting during the company’s quarterly financial conference call.

Despite the strong first quarter numbers, Monster’s stock took a hit in after-hours trading on the tepid financial guidance the company offered for the current quarter. The stock was down 4 percent following the end of the analyst call.

Monster said it expected revenues in the $250 million to $260 million range, with earnings of 6 cents to 10 cents a share. On average, analysts are expecting earnings of 9 cents a share and revenue of $269 million.

One reason for the cautious projection is uncertainty over government hiring. With the federal budget in play, and more government layoffs expected, Monster CEO Sal Iannuzzi told the analysts that spending on employment with Monster could be “a little bit lumpy at times.” While government revenue — about 10 percent of Monster’s North American revenue — is expected to grow at about the same rate as overall revenue by the end of the year, the current quarter could be as lean as the first, which saw only a 1 percent increase.

Dice, meanwhile, closed up 3.4 percent, as investors took advantage of robust growth projections from the company. Wall Street was expecting $41.5 million in revenue for the current quarter and $173.1 million for the year. Dice predicted it would handily beat both numbers, coming in at $43.5 million for the quarter, and $177 million for the year.

Privately held CareerBuilder shares only its North American revenue, which it said was $150 million, 13.6 percent above the same quarter last year.

This article is part of a series called Financial.
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