....TMP Worldwide hingegen nicht!!!
TMP delivered another stellar quarter.
4Q EPS was up almost 200% to 15 cents, above our 12 cents estimate. Prior results have been restated to reflect the recent pooling of several acquisitions and adjusted for February's 2-for-1 stock split.
Internet operations contributed $7.7 million in profits. Interactive revenues, led by Monster.com, in 4Q were outstanding, increasing 190% to $50.6 million vs. our $44 million estimate and totaled $133.5 million for full year 1999. This equates to approximately $18 in revenue per visitor in 4Q.
EBITDA above expectations. EBITDA increased 82% to $30 million vs. our $28.4 million estimate and $107.6 million for the full year. The EBITDA margin increased to 14.7% from 10.3% a year ago.
Talent continues to ramp. The company's Internet service, Monster Talent Market, launched in mid-1999, already has over 161,000 contractors signed up and 12,000 employers. The service has over 36,000 live auctions. This is versus 94,000 contractors, 6,700 companies, and over 25,000 live auctions at the end of 3Q.
Another big upside revision for Internet. The company believes that their Internet division will see 12% sequential growth in 2000. This implies full year 2000 Internet revenues of over $270 million. Management also stated that sequential quarterly growth in 2001 should slow slightly to 10% bringing full year 2001 Internet revenues to over $410 million.
Consequently, we are raising our 2000 and 2001 EPS estimates to $0.82 and $1.07, respectively, up from the previous $0.80 and $1.02, respectively.
TMP remains the most impressive growth story of the 24 companies we follow. However, our $90 price target remains under review.
In addition to its dominant market share position in the yellow page ad business, TMP remains a leader in almost every traditional recruitment space from "intern to CEO." These include intern services, help wanted advertising, search and selection for mid level employees, executive search for high level employees, and temporary contracting.
TMP's Internet business continues to dominate the online recruitment space, far surpassing its competitors in nearly every metric category. As TMP continues to enter into various strategic relationships and add new traditional recruitment services such as Search & Selection and Executive Recruitment -and feed this into their Internet stronghold- we expect this online dominance in recruitment to grow.
Recruitment (21% of total revenue, down 1.6% Y/Y). Traditional recruitment commissions in 4Q were $43.2 million down 1.6% from a year-ago due primarily to a decrease in help wanted advertising placed in newspapers. This may be due in part to the seasonal decline in help wanted advertising associated with the holidays in December. However help wanted ad trends at most of the newspaper companies we follow are continuing to improve.
Commission and fees as a percent of gross billings were flat vs. a year-ago at 22%. In the quarter, the Recruitment division produced $4.8 million in conversion revenues to the Internet. This is up from the $2.9 million reported in 3Q. Adding the $4.8 million back to the $43.2 million in reported revenues implies a 9.3% underlying growth rate. Management estimates that organic revenue growth for the division in 4Q was 2.2%.
In addition, the company recently announced the completion of the Baumgartner & Partner, a recruitment consulting firm with annual revenues of approximately $12 million.
Yellow Pages (11% of revenue, down 9% Y/Y). The decline in revenues for the Yellow Pages segment was greater than expected due to higher client discounts and reduced commissions paid by publishers. Revenues for 4Q were down 9% to $21.8 million vs. our $22.4 million estimate. Management estimates that excluding acquisitions, revenue in the quarter dropped 9.8%. Commissions and fees as a percent of billings dropped to 18.4% from 21% a year ago.
In the quarter, $2.7 million of TMP's Internet division's revenues migrated out of the Yellow Pages division vs. $1.6 million in 3Q. This represents the largest quarter of migration to the Internet for the division.
Search and Selection (37% of revenues, up 25% Y/Y). Growth in the quarter was primarily due to a substantial increase in demand for permanent employees, particularly in the mid-market selection area. Revenues for the quarter were $76.5 million vs. a year-ago's restated $61.3 million and our $71.3 million estimate. Management stated that organic revenue growth in the quarter was 13.6%.
Migration of Search and Selection business to the Web dropped to $1.5 million from the third quarter's $1.9 million. Jeff Taylor, CEO of Monster.com attributes this decline to the softness in Australia but expects this to turn around as a result of the new agreement with the leading Internet portal site in Australia.
In 1999, TMP's Search and Selection division acquired 17 companies, of which 6 were accounted for as poolings of interest transactions. The two largest acquisitions in this area last year were Morgan & Banks LTD. a leading executive search and selection firm in Australasia and LAI Worldwide. a leading executive search firm in the U.S. In addition, the company completed the acquisition of the Highland Search Group L.L.C., an executive search firm specializing in financial services in December.
Internet (25% of revenue, up 190% Y/Y, and up 38% Q/Q). The fourth quarter was another outstanding period for TMP's leading Internet business, led by Monster.com. Revenues in the division increased 38% over the third quarter to $50.6 million, representing the 9th consecutive quarter of 20%+ sequential growth. This compares to revenues of $17.5 million in the year-ago period and $36.6 million in the third quarter. We had estimated TMP's Internet revenues at $44 million for the quarter. The 190% increase in revenue in the quarter was primarily organic growth.
Importantly, the division reported an operating profit of $7.7 million with a margin of approximately 15%. Management believes that the division should be able to attain a 25% operating margin once it reaches $500 million in revenues and a 38% margin with $1 billion in revenues.
The company believes that the division is on track to do in excess of $270 million in revenues in 2000, based on quarterly sequential revenue growth of 12%, and over $410 million in 2001, based on quarterly sequential growth of 10%. However, the company has tended to be conservative on these estimates. This is versus full year Internet revenues of $134 million in 1999. TMP finished the quarter with a sizable $51.6 million on the balance sheet as deferred revenues vs. $37.8 million at the end of the third quarter.
Of the $50.6 million in revenues, management pointed out that $2.7 million migrated out of the Yellow Pages division (up from 3Q's $1.6 million), $1.5 million from Search and Selection (down from 3Q's $1.9 million), and $4.8 million from Recruitment (up from 3Q's $2.9 million). The remaining $41.6 million originated within the Internet division.
Internet revenue that originates in another division is credited 25% to the division and 75% to the Internet division.
$45.3 million in revenues originated in North America (up 40% from 3Q), $3.2 million from Europe (up 60% from 3Q) and $2.1 million from Australia/Asia (down 9% from 3Q).
Monster metrics remain highly impressive and continue to surpass the impressive milestones achieved in the fourth quarter. According to the most recent Media Metrix data, Monster's January penetration reached 5.3% of the Web, up from 3.4% in December. It's "power ranking" which multiplies reach times page views was 157.9 in January vs. 106.1 in December. Please see our note dated February 23rd for more details on January metrics.
The number of job listings as of last night increased to roughly 353,000 up from 255,000 at the end of September.
The number of resumes in Monster's database recently surpassed the 3 million mark. This compares to 2 million in September and 986,000 at year-end 1998. In addition, the database grew at rate of 11,000 plus per day in January vs. December's 7,900 per day rate.
Resume revenue accounted for 31% of the division's revenue, up from 3Q's 28%. Interestingly, 70% of the resumes in the database hold a doctorate, masters, or bachelors degree.
Monster.com had 36,000-37,000 clients active in the quarter up from 3Q's 30,500.
The response to Monster Talent Market, an auction-style marketplace for free agents, has been significant with a total of 161,000 registered contractors vs. 94,000 at the end of 3Q. Monster's nearest competitor has only 45,000 registered contractors. Company interest has been slower to build; however, 12,000 companies have registered versus 6,700 at the end of 3Q. The service has 36,000 live auctions in the system currently.
A personalized web service entitled My Monster in which a user can have a personalized recruiting web page now has over 6.1 million members versus 4.2 million at the end of 3Q and is growing at a rate of 15,000 new members per day. Approximately 47% of these members have posted resumes while 410,000 members subscribe to Monster's career newsletters.
With a telesales force of 163 employees, Monster.com generated 2,855 transactions in 4Q and an average order size of $1,500 in December. During the first two months of 2000 the average order size doubled to $3,000. Telesales account for roughly 60-65% of total revenue.
The field sales force currently stands at 82 (42 in North America, 32 in Europe, and 8 in Asia). The team has generated 46 transactions in the $50,000-$90,000 range, 37 in the $100,000-$200,000 range, 7 in the $200,000-$500,000 range, and 2 for $500,000+.
Deferred revenues were approximately $51.6 million at the end of the quarter versus $37.8 million at the end of 3Q and $16.4 million at year-end 1998.
Marketing spending will remain heavy as management continues to anticipate spending approximately $100 million in its Monster 2000 on and off-line marketing campaign, of which $22 million will be spent on marketing in Europe.
Temporary Contracting (6% of revenues, down 12% Y/Y). As of 2Q, the company restated its presentation of the Temporary Contracting revenues to a net figure. Previously, the company has reported gross contract revenues and netted them against a temporary contracting cost figure.
Revenues for 4Q were $12.3 million vs. a year-ago's restated $14 million and our $16.1 million estimate. Excluding acquisitions, temporary contracting revenue declined 14.5% in the quarter.
The 12.1% decrease in revenues primarily reflects a shift in demand to permanent employees from temporary staffing in Australia and the deferral of 4Q IT projects at many clients because of Y2K.
The rollout of the $100 million agreement with AOL announced in December appears to be on schedule. The first phase of the agreement which was officially launched in late February includes AOL/Monster.com co-branded pages on AOL WorkPlace Channel and the access of these pages via the AOL Keywords: Monster.com or Monster. The second phase, announced today includes the launch of co-branded pages on AOL.COM and Monster.com job listings on AOL Classified. AOL.COM will provide users with direct access to Monster.com's content and services while Monster.com's job postings on AOL Classified Plus will reach five AOL properties including AOL, AOL.COM, CompuServ, Digital City, and Netscape.
Last month, the company completed the acquisition of Microsurf.com, which owns a network of consumer websites focused on relocation and other home services. Through its websites including MortgageQuotes.com and MoverQuotes.com, Microsurf provides information on the Internet to facilitate the relocation and home financing decisions. Microsurf.com currently generates $4 million in annual revenues. This is the first of potentially several initiatives leveraging TMP's leading position in the yellow page business.
In addition, the company announced in February a partnership with a leading Australian Internet portal, ninemsn, a joint venture between ecorp and Microsoft, and a similar joint venture in Asia with ecorp. Management will continue to explore similar options to extend Monster's international presence from the current 9 countries to 20 by the end of the year.
Clearly these initiatives should significantly increase traffic to Monster's sites.
The company had a $16.8 million non-recurring merger related charge in the quarter -with the majority of the charge related integration costs. This charge includes integration costs, office consolidation costs, stay bonuses, severance charges, legal and banking fees, and expenses associated with the elimination of back office systems.
Net debt at the end of 1999 was $52 million, up slightly vs. 3Q's level of $50 million. Adjusting for the follow-on offering which generated approximately $595 million in proceeds, the company ended February with $501 million in net cash.