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Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

February 07, 2013 8:30 am ET

Executives

Lori C. Chaitman - Vice President of Investor Relations

Salvatore Iannuzzi - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

James M. Langrock - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Timothy T. Yates - Executive Vice President and Director

Analysts

Jeffrey M. Silber - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

Douglas M. Arthur - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Tobey Sommer - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

Randle G. Reece - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

William G. Bird - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Operator

Good morning. My name is Angel, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Q4 and Full Year Results 2012 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to our host, Ms. Lori Chaitman, Head of Investor Relations. Ma'am, you may begin your conference.

Lori C. Chaitman

Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for joining us on Monster Worldwide Fourth Quarter 2012 Conference Call. We will have formal remarks from Sal Iannuzzi, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and James Langrock, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In addition to Sal and James, members of our executive management team are available to answer your questions during the Q&A part of the call. They are Tim Yates, Ted Gilvar, Michael Miller and Mark Stoever.

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?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

Thank you, Lori. Good morning, and thank you for joining Monster's Fourth Quarter 2012 Conference Call. I'd like to take a moment, first of all, to apologize for missing last quarter's call. Today I'm going to discuss the current economic environment and provide a high-level review of the financial results for the quarter. Then I will update you on the status of the corporate restructuring program last quarter. And I will conclude with an update of our review of strategic alternatives and our near-term priorities.

In his comments, James will provide a more thorough financial review of the quarter and our outlook for Q1.

Overall, we felt our clients are reacting to the current economic environment, much as they have for the past year. They are continuing to be very conservative in adding new staff and making new investments. They are carefully controlling their expense budgets.

In Europe, we do not believe that the economic situation is getting worse. It appears to be stable, unfortunately, at a low level. In the U.S., we do not see signs of recovery, but they are -- we do see signs of recovery, I apologize, but they are very tentative. We are hopeful that a reduction in the uncertainty around the debt ceiling and budget negotiations may produce a lower risk environment as the year progresses. We believe this would result in increased booking momentum.

During the quarter, EPS was $0.08, slightly above the midpoint of our range of $0.05 to $0.10. Consolidated bookings were 13% lower on a year-over-year basis. Within this, Europe was down 30% while North America, excluding the Government business, was down 3%.

On a sequential basis, bookings were up approximately $50 million, reflecting the seasonally strong fourth quarter. Revenue was down 10% on a year-over-year basis and 4% on a sequential basis. EBITDA was $39 million and EBITDA margin was 18%.

As you recall, last quarter, we announced a number of actions, which are designed to substantially increase operating income while increasing resources available to our core North American and European markets. During the fourth quarter, we implemented all these actions. At a high level, the program is comprised of exiting our investment markets in China, Latin America and Turkey; reducing headcount on nonsales and other operating expenses; providing funding for additional marketing in our core North American and European markets. These programs, combined, will reduce annualized operating expense by approximately $130 million and increase operating income by approximately $80 million to $90 million in a flat revenue scenario.

Moreover, when economies around world recover and bookings and revenue begin to increase, these actions will have a positive leverage impact on operating income. James will provide more details in his comments, but we are well on track to achieving these objectives.

On the strategic alternatives front, the process continues, but it is going very slowly and we are not able to anticipate when or whether our board will have a concrete transaction to consider. At this stage, because of all the work done so far in the process, we are spending little additional management or financial resource in pursuit of that alternative. We are, of course, ready to respond quickly if an opportunity arises.

As demonstrated by the corporate restructuring and in parallel with the strategic review process, we are moving ahead rapidly with actions designed to improve our competitive position and profitability in our core markets.

I'd like to note a couple of things. During the fourth quarter, we continued to maintain a meaningful traffic lead over our top competitor in the United States. Even more importantly, our clients are seeing a significant increase in the number of replies they get. This superior traffic in applied positions, combined with our superior search capability, means our core value proposition is better than ever.

During the quarters ahead, we will fine-tune our sales organization to make sure that we are getting the full benefit of this competitive advantage.

Also during the quarter, we began to increase marketing spend in key European countries in order to drive traffic and apply [ph]. In 2012, we did make a couple of very targeted investments in traffic, but we limited the amount of the spend because we do not think it would pay off in the near term.

We believe that a moderate increase in European marketing spend in anticipation of an economic uptick is warranted. Our new product portfolio continues to perform well. PRS and CAN consistently outperform our traditional products. SeeMore bookings during the year were $8 million, and the pipeline is increasing significantly.

Our Global Careers business increased by 40% year-over-year, including the DWP transaction. We are building pipeline now, both in the U.S. and in Europe.

We have a number of short-term and long-term strategies under review designed to further enhance our competitive position. These are not heavy expenditure product initiatives, which were necessary during the past several years, but rather they are go-to-market strategies designed to get more out of our existing capabilities and shake up the market.

I'd now like to turn over the call to James for his comments.

James M. Langrock

Thank you, Sal, and good morning. In a continuing difficult operating environment, we were successful in protecting our profitability and cash flow, and we made significant progress in implementing the restructuring program announced last quarter.

Slide 1 summarizes the fourth quarter pro forma income statement from continuing operations. As you know, during the third quarter, we reported ChinaHR as a discontinued operation. In the fourth quarter, we included Latin America and Turkey in discontinued operations as well.

EPS was $0.08. EBITDA was $39 million. Bookings were $261 million, a 13% year-over-year decrease and a 23% sequential increase. Revenue was $211 million, a decline of 10% year-over-year and 4% sequentially.

Operating expense was $196 million, a 4% year-over-year decrease and a 2% sequential decrease. Interest and other was negative $1.7 million. Equity loss was $400,000.

I'll use Slide 2 to walk through the quarter's pro forma adjustments and the results of discontinued operations. They were $1.3 million in O&G expenses related to the review of strategic alternatives, $15 million in restructuring charges related to the corporate restructuring, a $68 million loss from discontinued operations. Of this amount, $53 million was a noncash write-off of goodwill and intangibles, primarily associated with ChinaHR.

Slide 3 shows Q4 operating expense trends. Salary and related was $97 million, a 10% year-over-year reduction. Much of the headcount reduction was accomplished late in the quarter. Marketing expense was $44 million during the quarter, essentially flat on a year-over-year and sequential basis. Office and general expense was $54 million, an 8% decrease on a sequential basis.

Slide 4 presents non-GAAP segment performance. Bookings in North America were down 5% on a year-over-year basis and up 26% on a sequential basis. EBITDA margin was steady at 22%.

During the quarter, the primary drag on bookings was our Government business, which was down 19% on a year-over-year basis against a tough comp. However, on a full year basis, bookings from the Government business had a strong performance with an increase of 8%.

Excluding Government, North America career bookings were down 3%. Newspaper bookings increased 7%, and both e-comm and staffing increased by 5%. These increases were offset by approximately 6% decline in field and telesales bookings.

Bookings in Europe were down 30% year-over-year and up 30% on a sequential basis. Currency had a minimal impact during the quarter. EBITDA margin for Europe was 9%, somewhat lower than last quarter as a result of the lower revenue and a pickup in marketing spend during the quarter. The most significant dollar and percentage decrease in bookings came from a 41% year-over-year decline in Germany. Last year's fourth quarter bookings in Germany were particularly strong, making for a tough comp. Our other major European markets were down between 20% and 25% on a year-over-year basis.

Bookings in APAC were down 6% year-over-year and essentially flat on a sequential basis. EBITDA margin in APAC was 28%. Bookings in Korea were flat, and bookings in India declined 9% on a year-over-year basis. Bookings in IAF increased 3% sequentially and declined 2% year-over-year. EBITDA margin was up 6 points on a year-over-year basis.

Now I'd like to provide some additional detail on the corporate restructuring and discontinued operations. As you recall, there are 2 components to this program. First is the decision to exit China and other developing markets. We've just announced the sale of our ChinaHR business to the Saongroup. Monster will be a 10% shareholder of the combined China entity. We have exited our businesses in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey in December. The 2012 run rate of our China and developing market business was approximately $50 million of revenue and $85 million of operating expenses.

Please recall that these numbers have been classified as discontinued operations.

Second, we implemented a corporate restructuring to reduce headcount in nonsales and other operating expenses. After providing for some incremental marketing dollars in core markets, the corporate restructuring will result in a decrease in operating expense of around $50 million on an annualized basis.

As a result of these decisions, revenue will be reduced by approximately $50 million as a result of exiting China and developing markets. Operating expense will be reduced by approximately $130 million, $85 million from China and developing markets and $50 million from the corporate restructuring.

Please remember that this is not guidance, but if one assumed that Monster's revenue was flat in 2013 compared to 2012, then these actions will result in an increase in operating income of between $80 million and $90 million.

We anticipate these actions will result in total restructuring charges of between $50 million and $60 million, of which we incurred $23 million in the fourth quarter. Of the $23 million, $8 million is included in discontinued operations.

Slide 5 is key balance sheet and cash flow items. Pro forma EBITDA was $39 million. GAAP EBITDA was $24 million. Net cash provided by operations was $17 million. Capital expenditures were $13 million. Deferred revenue, excluding China, was $352 million. And total liquidity was $311 million.

We are forecasting a relatively stable economic environment in the first quarter, no dramatic deterioration or improvement. In that environment, we currently estimate that EPS will be in the range of $0.06 to $0.10 per share.

And now, I'd like to turn the call back to Sal for his concluding remarks.

Salvatore Iannuzzi

Thank you, James. I remain extremely excited about Monster's future. Our core business has significant profit and cash flow generating potential. After having made the difficult decisions to exit investment markets and restructure, Monster's pro forma EBITDA in 2012 was over $160 million, a strong result in an environment where the European markets were all significantly down.

The restructuring actions we've taken allow us to increase profitability and increase firepower in our core markets. Monster has a long history of being new and innovative products and services to the global recruiting market. We have a number of initiatives under review designed to continue that legacy.

Thank you for your time. Operator, you can please open it up to questions?

Lori C. Chaitman

Operator?

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And your first question comes from the line of Jeff Silber.

Jeffrey M. Silber - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

I'm just curious in terms of the guidance for the first quarter, what kind of revenue and expense trends you're expecting?

James M. Langrock

So as I stated in the release, we're not giving it -- we're not providing top line guidance. However, we -- I did state that we're not expecting any significant changes in the global economy. So that's what we said. So we're not providing top line guidance. As it relates to expenses, you'll start seeing the benefit of the restructuring. However, I do want to remind everyone that there's a seasonal uptick in expenses in Q1 that are out there, but you'll start to see the benefit of the restructuring. You saw some of it in Q4, you'll see some of it in Q1, but there is a seasonality that's in there. Also, this is another reminder. Right now, the $85 million of expense takeout for the China and the other developing markets is already taken out of our numbers. They're now in discontinued operations. But we're not providing top line guidance.

Jeffrey M. Silber - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

Okay, great. And you mentioned a number of tough comps in the fourth quarter last year that made it difficult in the fourth quarter this year. Are there anything like that in the first quarter last year that we need to be aware of?

James M. Langrock

Yes, the one I would highlight would be the DWP transaction in Europe in Q1 of last year, which is the multiyear deal, about USD 25 million, so that you've got to be aware of in Q1 of last year.

Operator

The next question comes from the line of Doug Arthur.

Douglas M. Arthur - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Sal, I'm wondering and I cut -- unfortunately, I was cut in and out a few times in the conference call, but can you just sort of break down the booking trends in North America? You mentioned telesales, government. Can you sort of go back over that and sort of break it down by kind of buckets in terms of what you're seeing now and going forward new term?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

I'll give James the chance to just reiterate the numbers, and then I'll comment.

James M. Langrock

So what we said on the call was, Doug, was newspaper bookings were up 7% year-over-year and both e-comm and staffing were up 5%. And telesales and field sales were down 6%. So those are the numbers that we had given during the call -- prepared remarks, Doug.

Douglas M. Arthur - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

And you mentioned government as well was a tough comp?

James M. Langrock

Yes, if you recall, Doug, last year was -- with the government because of the impasse, a lot of the -- the business is lumpy to begin with. But with the impasse that was being resolved like around March, April, a lot of the bookings got pushed into Q3 and Q4 of last year. So it made for a tough comp. But I do want to remind you that the Government business here in North America was up 8% year-over-year and off of a very good year in 2011 as well.

Salvatore Iannuzzi

In terms of comments, I think what we're seeing, first of all, reiterate on -- with regard to the Government business, you should expect -- it's hard to track quarter-to-quarter. The nature of the business, we could have several very large deals in one quarter and an absence of those very large deals in the next just because of how they fall or how they're negotiated. So it's just the nature of the business. But it continues to be a very strong activity and an activity that we see significant avenue for growth, both here in the United States. In spite of potential government cutbacks on spending, we believe a number of the products we have should give us opportunity to grow that business even in a climate where there's potential comeback. But in addition to that, we're introducing a number of products and are in discussions with regard to a number of transactions in Europe, which is a completely new market to us with the exception, as James mentioned, the DWP transaction last year. Just as we said when we did that, we thought that that transaction would allow us to establish ourselves as a player in that European market and we gained some traction on it. No transactions have yet been booked, but it's encouraged a number of conversations to occur and we'll see where that takes us. Here in the United States, with regard to bookings, I think that both in the telesales and the field sales

[Technical Difficulty]

Salvatore Iannuzzi

Okay, I'm sorry for that. In the U.S.A, in the field and telesales market, I think what we're continuing to see is real sluggishness, as I said in my comments, really due, I think, to the indecisiveness of what's going to happen, whether it's the financial cliff or sequestration or whatever. Some companies are doing better and are spending more than they have. Others have reduced their spend just because of lack of clarity as to the future. So it's sort of offsetting more or less itself. What we are seeing, and I don't want anyone to think that this is a feeling that things are going to significantly turn around, but the good news is we are seeing some improvement in the e-comm area. And historically, what that has shown is that when you see that kind of a pickup, that's our smallest customers for the most part. That usually indicates that things may be improving. But it's very early in the game. And I think that to read too much into it would be a mistake. But that's an area where we're just seeing some pickup. I think the next few months with regard to the debt discussions and the sequestration and all of that, with that hopefully behind us, that would clarify things as we progress further into the year.

Operator

And your next question comes from the line of Tobey Sommer.

Tobey Sommer - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

I wanted to ask a question about, strategically, if you could refresh us on the multinational deals that you have and what the impact of exiting some countries will do on the business opportunity for you?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

I think, as we indicated, the businesses, and I'll give it you in summary form, and I'm sure James, if I mess up with the numbers, can help me out a little bit. But basically, what we did is we eliminated -- and this is between China, Latin America and Turkey. We eliminated approximately $50 million of revenue, and we eliminated about $85 million of expense, net $35 million of costs to the bottom line. I think that those were difficult decisions, as we said in our comments. We think that long term, some of those markets may -- would provide significant potential for us. I think, at this time, given the global environment that we're in, particularly in Europe and here in the United States, that to make those -- to continue to make those investments at the same time as profitability is down, both in Europe and here, forces us to perhaps cut back on costs in our core markets. And we think that would have been a mistake. That's why we took the actions that we took. Now you should also know that it is not impossible, okay, that at some point in the future, we go back to some of those markets in perhaps a different form or a different way. We reserve, obviously, the right to do that but not in this economic climate. We don't -- we just don't see it as viable for us. And we're looking at opportunities and methodologies to do it. But the time is not right at this point.

James M. Langrock

And Tobey, just to add one point to that. The question around the impact of the cross-border international, the majority of our cross-border is really between North America, Europe -- North America into Europe, Europe -- Pan European and then Europe, North America. So with China and developing markets, that cross-border business was not a material number for us.

Tobey Sommer - SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Research Division

If I could ask a follow-up. What -- these actions that you've taken in terms of exiting some of the smaller, less profitable countries at least over the near or medium term, were those the kind of actions that the potential suitors would have liked to have seen taken and can maybe facilitate your conversations?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

I think -- look, one of the things that's occurred since we embarked on strategic alternatives or discussions to sell -- potentially sell the company is we always had these as actions that we could take, obviously became more painful for us during last -- during 2011 and 2012 to maintain those investments given what was going on in the rest of the world. We decided not to take those actions at the early part of the year as we were going into strategic alternatives because, potentially, there might be suitors that may find some of those areas, areas that they were attracted to and where, given their profile or what their interests were, they may be interested in making additional investment. As we got further into the process and the more people we talked to, we found that that really didn't matter very much and that -- those tended to not to be important to them. And you saw some indication, as you see with many companies today, there was less interest in some geographies, in some parts -- some countries. So we decided that we should -- we would take the actions that we took, fortify the financial strength of the company by those actions and move forward. And that's really what we did.

Operator

And your next question comes from the line of Randy Reece.

Randle G. Reece - Avondale Partners, LLC, Research Division

I was trying to understand the comparability of the bookings numbers. You had a sequential increase in the fourth quarter this year of 23%, which was a little bit greater than the one you had last year. But it was on a quarter that was pretty weak. The third quarter bookings were significantly down. So I'm wondering if you could interpret the significance of the fourth quarter number, the sequential growth?

James M. Langrock

Like you said, I mean, we've said it's $50 million sequential increase from Q3. So we had significant increase in North America. Even in Europe, which was down 30%, we had a 30% sequential increase. So part of the big issue really is the European drag on the bookings. So that's where if you think there's a little softness in it. It's obviously Europe, which is down 30%, but the $50 million increase in this environment we're pretty pleased with.

Salvatore Iannuzzi

I think that -- just another comment on that. Yes, we had a $50 million increase sequentially. But if you look at our history, Q4 on a seasonal basis is always our most robust quarter of the year. I think that -- and it followed suit this year. But it's more than usual, as was Q3, smaller than usual, reflecting the economic situation that the world is in. The good news is that in spite of the economic situation, we did see the upsurge that we normally would expect to see and many companies will spend -- were spending, but were just spending less. They were more reserved than they might have otherwise been. So it just shows a different level to the marketplace because there's a different recruitment level, but still deep interest in our product and moving forward.

Operator

And your next question comes from the line of John Janedis.

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Sal, could you go back to the restructuring comments in North America? It doesn't sound like you made cuts to sales, even in this weak environment, from a revenue perspective. Is that another leverage to pull -- to transform any weakness here? Or do you view sales as a function that's already lean?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

No, I think that we have made cuts in nonsales area, noncore-bearing sales areas here in the U.S. as well as elsewhere. I think that as we've said before, part of this is we ramped up the company significantly because we needed to rebuild an awful lot of things. Having done that, we had -- there was a potential to really leverage the model. We took advantage of that all over the world, inclusive of the United States. I think that given where we are today and given the products that we have, we determined that, with regards to the sales force, that we would not make the cut. And when we see -- when we get some clarity that things are improving and as warranted, we may even add a few headcount. And I stress, a few, that's built into our plan here in the United States and potentially in Europe on the same period to fully take advantage of the suite of products, the new products we have, go after new customers and expand our market reach. But the cuts that we made, with the exception of sales -- and even in sales, you may hear or there's always a noise out there, there were cuts in sales. The cuts in sales were what we normally do. There's a normal attrition, if you will, based on performance, et cetera. There's a cadence we follow and that was also followed this quarter. But that was not predominantly focused as a result of the restructuring. That's just normally what we do and you'll continue to see that.

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Okay. And maybe for James. I know you're not going to speak to revenue trends at Monster. But can you give us your view on what the industry grew out of North America and Europe last year and maybe your view on this year?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

Can you repeat that, please, John?

James M. Langrock

We didn't hear you.

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Sorry. So I know you're not going to speak to specific revenue trends at Monster, James. But can you give us your view on what the industry overall grew at in North America and Europe last year, and if you can, maybe your view on this year?

James M. Langrock

Well, I think, John, it's trying to get to some of our competitors -- our largest competitor here in North America, what their growth rates are. It's kind of difficult to come up with that. But I would say is that we are, as it relates to North America with our traffic position and the increase in the applies that's strengthened throughout the year, that we believe, from a booking standpoint, which we will then convert into revenue, that we're holding our own and we're winning all shares. So again, to give you an industry, it's a little difficult to give you an industry growth rate. But where we sit today, with our traffic position, our product suite and with some wind behind our back with the economy, we believe we're well positioned. So that's what I think from a revenue standpoint that you'll start to see that.

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

And maybe one last quick one, if you don't mind. Just on the posting side, can you give us an update? Rolling out of the fourth quarter, what percentage of the business is now postings?

James M. Langrock

Still about 50%, John.

Operator

And your next question comes from the line of William Bird.

William G. Bird - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

I was wondering if you could give us a little bit more detail around the ChinaHR deal. Was wondering what the estimated value was that you received on that. Did you receive any cash as well?

Timothy T. Yates

Bill, it's Tim Yates. I'll take that. We're not at liberty to disclose all of the terms of the transaction, but maybe by providing a little bit of context, I can indirectly help. Sal noted in his comments that we had made a decision because we were losing money and because it would require a substantial additional investment to bring the company to profitability, to exit the business, exit the market. Our primary objective in doing that was to eliminate the future investment required and the ongoing loss. The transaction we structured with Saon was our best alternative available to us at the time from -- and it does accomplish the objective of eliminating the loss, the ongoing loss, and the future investment. It accomplishes that objective. It gives us an equity stake on the upside. Saon has very ambitious plans to grow the market. We represent an interesting asset to them. Their plans, we'd say, are premature and given our experience in China, I think we choose to wait and see how it develops before putting a value on the stake that we have. We think it's valuable, but we're not today valuing it.

William G. Bird - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Just a follow-on related to the strategic alternatives process. Just wondering how best to interpret Sal's comments that you're spending very little additional management or financial resources in pursuit of alternatives.

Salvatore Iannuzzi

We are having conversations. But we've done a tremendous amount of homework. We've answered an awful lot of questions, a lot of inquiry. We've prepared a lot of analysis. Our data room, to be more specific, is very rich with information. So in terms of spending a lot of time developing information to represent the company properly, we simply don't need to do that anymore. There's always -- as conversations go on, there's always some question that may require something, but it's relatively minor. They're much more substantial in terms of effort over the past several quarters. I think where we are now, the conversation that are going on will principally involve just a few of us, including myself, of course, and not the rest of the firm. The rest of the firm, certainly at this juncture, is 100% focused on the future and running the business as effectively as possible and that is by design. We want to make sure the process has been slow. It may or may not lead to a transaction. And we want to make sure that we avail ourselves of every opportunity in the marketplace to run the business as effectively as we can. We will spend -- of course, that will change. There's a transaction that looks like it may makes sense to pursue, then we'll, of course, involve more people in the company. But right now, we just don't see the necessity for that and we'll see what the future brings us.

William G. Bird - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

And at this stage, how do you think about stock buybacks?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

I think that over the past -- as you know, in the past, we've certainly not been shy about doing a stock buyback. I think that more recently, particularly in the past quarters, from really 2 aspects: number one is given conversations on things that were going on, we felt it was inappropriate for us to continue to buy shares that actually began -- we slowed down in Q2. But also, given the economic situation, we -- and the restructuring plans that we had, et cetera, we decided to keep our powder dry. Without question, we feel the stock price is overwhelmingly undervalued. But having said that, we want to keep our powder dry until we get some more clarity. I think that in the future, if either -- both with, hopefully, an improving economic scenario, as well as if there's nothing that we feel will compromise us with regard to strategic alternatives, we will most likely -- and the price is in the vicinity of where it is today, we will, of course, resume. But right now, I think our preference is to just hold.

Operator

And your last and final question for today's conference is Jeff Silber.

Jeffrey M. Silber - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

Just a follow-up. You seem to be a little bit more willing to talk about the process than you have been on prior calls. So I'm going to ask this question and hope you can give us some color. I'm not going to ask you the names of the companies that you've been talking to, but I'm just curious what type of suitors have you been speaking to? What industries are they in, et cetera?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

I'm not sure why you feel that we're more willing to talk this time than in other times, but I'll try and answer your question. I think that, look, we covered the waterfront. We've talked to both strategics, as well as the financial. We've cast the net extremely wide. As you know, we have 2 bankers involved, Stone Key and Bank of America. We've talked to an awful lot of people. And as is normal in these processes, some had greater interest than others. And we've engaged, at times, with multiple conversations simultaneously. And that's it. So it's been -- what I can tell you, it's been an extremely robust process and a very comprehensive process. And some of it continues. But as I said in my comments, there is no -- it is slow. It's certainly slower than I would have anticipated when we began last -- end of last February or beginning in March. And I certainly can't guarantee that there's anything of interest or an expression of interest that is appropriate for us to bring to our board for consideration.

Jeffrey M. Silber - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

And then just getting back to the business. I know there are a number of contracts that were expected to roll over towards the end of the year. Can you tell me what the pricing environment is on those?

Salvatore Iannuzzi

Yes, pricing, really no substantive change. Pricing is competitive, meaning you have to be clear. A lot of competition, okay? Nothing abnormal to what we've seen historically. The -- really, no material change in that. Our new products -- our, call them more unique products outside of job postings, we are maintaining price. It's a simple equation that others simply don't have that offering. And we're able to maintain and command a more premium pricing in that area. Having said that, companies are buying less, right? They just don't need as much in an environment where they're very, very cautious about adding expense load as to people. Those companies who see opportunities for themselves or in an area where they're investing or rebuilding in certain areas, we see the demands to be quite robust. That's what I meant by my comments earlier, that you have companies that are reducing because of indecisiveness vis-à-vis the economy. And in other areas, you have companies buying considerably more. It's really a mixed bag.

Lori C. Chaitman

Operator?

Operator

Thank you for participating in today's Q4 and Full Year Results 2012 Earnings Call. This does conclude today's conference call. You may now disconnect.

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Source: Monster Worldwide Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
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