We have recently upgraded our recommendation on Monster Worldwide, Inc. to Outperform from Neutral.
Headquartered in New York, Monster Worldwide Inc. is an online recruitment firm of Monster.com, the leading career website in the world.
Although the company’s global business continues to remain weak and uncertain, management continues to focus on new product additions. This resulted in strong bookings in North America in the second quarter of 2012, which partially compensated for the weakness in Europe and Asia.
The new search technology by Monster – 6Sense – continues to gain traction and should drive business in the coming months. Monster also continues to focus on its new offering – Power Resume. Earlier, Monster launched BeKnown, a professional networking application that is designed to allow Facebook users to establish a professional network on one of the world’s most popular social platforms.
Monster is also considering strategic alternatives to boost shareholder value in the coming months. The near-term priorities for the company include executing on its share buyback program and return excess cash to shareholders, focusing on incremental growth opportunity with SeeMore and Government Solutions and spend $100 million to enhance marketing campaign and sales efforts.
Nevertheless, the company reported in-line results in the second quarter of 2012 and management continues to revamp its product portfolio to combat the existing slowdown.
However, earnings estimates for Monster have gone down over the last few days. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 is 20 cents, down by 8 cents in the last few days as nine out of the ten analysts covering the stock reduced their estimates.
The macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain. The slowdown in Europe has taken a toll on the company’s business with no improvement expected in the near term. Asia also continues to be weak.
We believe the shares have already hit an all-time low and expect a gradual recovery hereafter.
(Note: We are reissuing this article to correct an inaccuracy. The original article, released August 14, 2012, should no longer be relied upon.)