Monster Worldwide (MWW) Q1 2012 Earnings Call April 26, 2012 8:30 am ET Executives Lori C. Chaitman - Former Vice President of Investor Relations Sal Iannuzzi - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of Special Litigation Committee Addressing Civil Litigation Matters James M. Langrock - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Analysts William G. Bird - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division Tobey Sommer - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division James J. Janesky - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division Matt Hill Douglas M. Arthur - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division Craig A. Huber - Access 3:42, LLC Jeffrey M. Silber - BMO Capital Markets U.S. Mark S. Mahaney - Citigroup Inc, Research Division Mark S. Marcon - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division Presentation Operator
Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that except for historical information, the statements made during this conference call constitute forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the company’s strategic direction, prospects and future results. Certain factors, including factors outside of our control, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including economic and other conditions in the markets in which we operate, risks associated with acquisitions or dispositions, competition and the other risks discussed in our Form 10-K and our other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Sal for his comments. Sal? Sal Iannuzzi Thank you, Lori. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. Given our recent presentations at the Baird conference and Innovation Day, our prepared remarks will be shorter than usual. We will, of course, take your questions at the end of James' financial review. The overall global business environment during the quarter remained uncertain and was much as we anticipated coming into the quarter. In this environment, we exceeded our expectations on bookings and EPS, and we're at the top of our range on revenue. The key highlights of the quarter were: Bookings were up 5% year-over-year. Excluding the DWP transactions, bookings were 4% lower than last year's first quarter. On a geographic basis, bookings in North America were up 6% year-over-year. During the quarter, we executed better and experienced strong results in key verticals such as Government, Staffing and newspapers. We had improved performance in enterprise. The result of the e-Comm channel remains inconsistent and weak. As noted in January, we took a number of steps to improve our performance and our competitive position in the U.S., and as a result, we definitely noticed an increase in our win/loss performance in highly competitive situations. We believe these initiatives began to pay off during the quarter and will gain momentum throughout the year. We are confident that these actions will allow us to continue the longer-term trend of share gains in the United States.
Bookings in Europe were up 13%, excluding the DWP that was down 16%. Economic indicators in Europe throughout the quarter were weaker than was generally forecasted. Euro area unemployment was an all-time high. According to Eurostat, and it is widely believed that many countries within Europe sank set into recession. We believe that the decline in Monsters' European bookings reflected this economic uncertainty and does not reflect a competitive concern.Bookings in Asia-Pac were flat year-over-year despite the general cooling of Asian economy. While bookings of our Korean business declined 3%, the business continues to be extremely profitable and is well positioned to retain its growth, when the Korean economy picks up. Bookings in China increased by 4% and India, 2%. Consolidated revenue was down 3%. EPS was $0.04 versus our guidance of $0.00 to $0.04. During the first quarter, we largely completed our restructuring, and as anticipated, began the redeployment of expense dollars into marketing. During the quarter, we purchased 4.4 million shares at an average cost of $7.58, deploying $33 million. As I mentioned at the recent Baird conference, and as many of you are able to observe, at our recent Innovation Day, we are very focused on bringing our new products to our customers on a global basis. We are aggressively pursuing market share gains in all of our key markets and are supporting this asset with increased B2B marketing dollars. Client interest in 6Sense technology, PRS and SeeMore continues to increase. A number of our current government contracts, including DWP, ohiomeansjobs and V Aid for vets [ph] have PRS and SeeMore embedded in the solution. And the 6Sense functionality was a critical ingredient in securing those transactions. In addition, our enterprise pipeline has essentially doubled during the quarter and interest within our Staffing vertical, in particular, have significantly increased. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com