Monster’s Financials Better Than Expected; Year Ahead Brightens

Were it not for one-time expenses in the not-yet-completed HotJobs purchase, Monster broke even in the 2nd quarter. But even considering the $5.2 million expense, the recruitment advertising company still managed to do better than the consensus of Wall Street analysts.

Analysts expected a loss between 3 cents and 5 cents a share on revenue of $216 million. Monster, which reported its financial this afternoon, came in at break-even on earnings per share and $214.9 million on revenue.

Counting the HotJobs expenses and a few other smaller, one-time costs, Monster reported losing $2.96 million on revenue of $214.9 million. That translates into a 2 cent a share loss. Without those one-time expenses Monster’s loss was just under $200,000, which is break-even on a per share basis.

In the report, and reiterated during a 5 p.m. (EDT) conference call with analysts, Monster officials said the company expected a better year than it had previously forecast. Crediting an increase in bookings (contract sales), and sales of  its power resume search, CEO Sal Iannuzzi and CFO Tim Yates said the company now expected to lose between 6 and 14 cents a share, a significant reduction from a previous high of 20 cents.

Despite the bottom-line performance, Monster’s domestic and overseas revenue shows the continuing softness in recruitment. Though the picture is vastly better than in 2009 when revenue dropped 37 percent in the second quarter over the same period in 2008, lackluster job growth in the U.S. was the biggest drain on the company. North American revenue was $96.9 million, a drop of 5 percent over last year.

Still, Monster’s North American second quarter revenue was virtually unchanged from the first quarter and the international revenue was up. Between the 1st and 2nd quarters, Monster’s revenue was basically flat. That’s evidence that the U.S. economy is not getting any worse.

CareerBuilder, meanwhile, reported its North American revenue was $139 million, up 3 percent over the same period in 2009 and up 5 percent over the first quarter of 2010. The privately held company volunteers only its domestic revenue. It won’t disclose international revenue nor its expenses.

How the acquisition of HotJobs will change Monster’s financial picture isn’t clear, though in the near term it’s expected to contribute $20-$40 million before taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization. Yates said HotJobs is expected to be a particular help in the staffing and healthcare areas.

The deal is to close sometime in the the current quarter. No HotJobs contributions were factored into the full-year financial estimates.

Dice, the other major publicly held job board operator, reported earlier this week that it earned 6 cents a share.

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