51Job (JOBS) on results, competition and lockup (quotes from 4Q04 conf call)

| About: 51job, Inc. (JOBS)
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51Job (ticker: JOBS), a Chinese online recruitment and human resource services company, released Q4 2004 earnings yesterday 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.)