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Monster reports Q4 profit, tepid start to new year

Monster Worldwide Inc. posted a profit for the fourth quarter of 2010 but said that bad weather in December hampered profits and bookings, so the job board has gotten off to a slow start in 2011.

The Wall Street Journals reports that Monster’s shares fell 7.8% to $19.72 in after-hours trading after the company projected first-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations. As of the close Thursday, they were up 50% in the past three months.

Monster reported earnings per share of 6 cents, in-line with analysts’ expectations, on revenue of $258 million, versus expectations for $262.5 million. The company said it expects to earn 36 to 48 cents this year, versus analysts’ expectations for 43 cents, according to Barrons.com.

Cash and cash equivalents were $163 million as of December 31, 2010 compared to $275 million last year. The decline was primarily attributable to the completion of the HotJobs acquisition.

Bookings increased 28% to $330 million compared to $259 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Sal Iannuzzi, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Monster Worldwide, said, “Our focus in 2010 was dedicated to building momentum across all geographies and within our major vertical markets. Monster’s differentiated suite of product offerings, combined with an improved macro-economic environment, resulted in strong bookings growth of 23% in 2010.”

He continued, “Our unrivaled global reach, innovative solutions, and search products powered by our patented 6Sense® technology will allow us to win against all competitors in the market and to continue to gain global market share in 2011. As such, we are reiterating our outlook of 20-25% bookings and revenue growth for 2011, and underscoring our commitment to significantly improve the profitability profile of Monster.”

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