(Adds details, CEO quote, share movement)
Jan 26 Online recruitment firm Monster
Worldwide Inc said it will reduce its global workforce
by about 7 percent and forecast a first-quarter profit below
analysts' estimates amid a weak job market in the United States.
Shares of the company, which also reported fourth-quarter
profit that missed expectations by a cent, fell 13 percent in
premarket trading on Thursday.
"The progress we saw in the fourth quarter was
much slower than what we saw earlier in the year," Monster CEO
Sal Iannuzzi told Reuters in an interview.
The uncertainty in Europe and the United States is
causing companies to hold back and not commit as much as they
would normally, he said.
The staffing sector -- seen as a barometer of
economic health -- has been hit by a slowdown in Europe and an
uncertain recovery in the United States, where the unemployment
rate currently stands at 8.5 percent.
Iannuzzi does not expect a material change to the
job market for the time being.
The company will cut about 400 jobs and consolidate some
office facilities, and expects to record a pre-tax charge of $30
million to $40 million mostly in the first quarter.
Monster forecast first-quarter profit to be breakeven to 4
cents a share, lower than analysts' estimates of 9 cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company, which runs the Monster.com recruiting website,
expects revenue to fall 3 to 7 percent in the first quarter and
bookings to drop 6 to 10 percent.
Its fourth-quarter profit was 11 cents a share and revenue
was $250 million. Analysts were expecting 12 cents a share and
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Maju
Samuel, Supriya Kurane)