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Monster Retained at Outperform

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We recently reiterated our Outperform recommendation on Monster World Wide, Inc. .

Earnings estimates have moved up significantly after the company reported better-than-expected results for the third quarter of 2012, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents.

All the seven analysts covering the stock have increased their estimates for 2012. For 2013, eight out of the ten analysts covering the stock have increased their estimates. 

Monster announced a series of restructuring actions in order to focus more on its core business and improve its cost structure, thereby boosting profitability and cash flow. The restructuring actions include the sale of the ChinaHR business and thereby reducing losses in developing markets. Monster aims to continue to accelerate the redeployment of expenses into marketing and sales in Monster’s core markets (Europe and North America), while curbing operating expenses in other geographies. On a consolidated basis, these initiatives are expected to reduce operating expenses by approximately $130 million on an annualized basis. 

In January, Monster announced a series of cost savings initiatives amid an uncertain global environment. These activities include a workforce reduction of approximately 400 associates, or 7% of its full-time staff on a global basis, consolidation of certain office facilities along with control in discretionary spending.

On the other hand, Monster is currently evaluating strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, which includes the possible divestiture of the company. The company had earlier announced that it is assessing strategic alternatives with respect to maximizing shareholder value, and retained Stone Key Partners LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch as financial advisors in connection with this review. 

Monster continues to face competition from upcoming players such as LinkedIn Corporation .

We believe the shares have already hit an all-time low and a gradual recovery hereafter is on the cards. Thus, we maintain our Outperform recommendation on the stock.

Our Outperform recommendation is supported by a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term rating of Buy. 

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