51Job (ticker: JOBS), a Chinese online recruitment and human resource services company, released Q4 2004 earnings results this morning. CEO Rick Yan expanded on those results during the company's conference call. Key quotes:
On the expenses that resulted in lower earnings than the company's revised guidance:
....the additional expenses include an industry provision related to the terminated stationery business, additional professional fees related to legal and accounting services and higher-than-expected tax expenses.
On the company's operating results:
....our cost of services and other operating expenses remained consistent with our expectations.
On the competitive landscape and Chinese economy:
….we do not believe that the slowdown we saw in quarter four reflects changes to the competitive landscape, industry fundamentals or a slowdown in the Chinese economy. And we do not see a meaningful competitor with our revenue scale, geographical coverage or range of services.
On the status of business in Q1:
….as I mentioned earlier, the slowdown in the latter part of December did not continue into the new year. Our businesses rebounded in January.
On the upcoming lockup expiration:
….lockup will expire towards the end of March. The shareholders have not determined or have not made any decision in terms of what they do. The Board of Directors have discussed about a potential organized follow-on that is a discussion partly that we are having, but we have not made any decision yet.
(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)