Dice Holdings

Careers Web site operator Dice Holdings ( DHX) is a strong takeover candidate because of a consolidation trend among Internet job search sites, in addition to its blue chip properties according to Morningstar.

Dice Holdings operates jobs Web sites like Dice.com, eFinancialCareers.com, ClearanceJobs.com and AllHealthcareJobs.com, which serve job seekers in the tech, finance and energy sectors. In Aug. 2010, the company acquired the popular oil & gas media, data and jobs Web site Rigzone.com. "Dice's niche assets are some of the best in the business," writes Morningstar of the sites.

After the company modified its change of control statutes, Morningstar notes that a takeover may now be more lucrative and amenable for the company's executives. While Morningstar doesn't identify a likely acquirer, the rumor mill has been active for Web based careers sites.

In Aug. 2011, Reuters reported that Monster Worldwide ( MNST) could receive takeover interest from larger Web and media giants like Yahoo! ( YHOO), Google ( GOOG) and IAC/InterActiveCorp ( IAC).

Morningstar gives Dice Holdings a three star rating and a fair value of $10 a share, a small premium to its current share price of $9.97. The company is expected to earn $15 cents a share in its first quarter 2012 results due on Feb. 2, according to Zacks consensus estimates. Analysts give the company an estimated price target of $12.71 a share on 2012 revenue of $201 million and profit of $43 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For more on Dice Holdings, see 9 stocks that gain every earnings day.

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