Monster Worldwide ( MNST), owner of the Monster.com jobs site, said its third-quarter profit surged 54%, buoyed by the strength in its North America division.

Shares rose in early trading after the company said its fourth-quarter profit would be higher than analysts' forecasts.

Net income was $30.8 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $19.9 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement. Sales jumped 26% to $249.3 million. The results beat the 24-cent median estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial and revenue forecast of $247.8 million.

"We are extremely pleased that the momentum we experienced in the first half of the year continued in the third quarter and our outlook remains strong," said Andrew McKelvey, the company's chief executive, in a statement.

Earnings will be 27 cents to 28 cents a share for the fourth quarter on revenue of $260 million to $270 million, Monster Worldwide said. The company forecast yearly profit of 91 cents to 92 cents a share on sales of $980 million to $987 million. This is better than the company's July guidance, which called for earnings this year of 88 cents to 91 cents a share on revenue of $968 million to $985 million.

Shares of Monster Wordwide, which owns Web sites in 24 countries, gained 91 cents to $32.34 in early Wednesday trading.

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