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Dice Holdings (DHX)

Q1 2013 Earnings Call

April 23, 2013 8:30 am ET


Jennifer Bewley - Vice President of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Scot W. Melland - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Michael P. Durney - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President of Industry Brands Group, Principal Accounting Officer and Treasurer


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

Youssef H. Squali - Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

Timothy McHugh - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Jordan E. Rohan - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Craig Huber

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

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



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q1 2013 Dice Holdings, Inc. Earnings Conference Call. My name is Marie, and I'll be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes. And now I would like to turn the call over to Jennifer Bewley, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Dice Holdings. Please proceed.

Jennifer Bewley

Thanks, Marie, and good morning, everyone. With me on the call today is Scot Melland, Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings; along with Michael Durney, EVP of Industry Brands Group and CFO. Please note, this morning, we issued a press release describing the company's results for the first quarter of 2013. A copy of that release can be viewed on the company's website at diceholdingsinc.com.

Before I hand the call over to Scot, I'd like to note that today's call include certain forward-looking statements, particularly statements regarding the future financial and operating results of the company and its businesses. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological and/or regulatory factors. The principal risks that could cause our results to differ materially from our current expectations are detailed in the company's SEC filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K in the sections entitled Risk Factors, Forward-looking Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations. The company is under no obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by federal securities laws.

Today's call also includes certain non-GAAP financial measures, including adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin and free cash flow. For details on these measures, including why we use them and reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures, please refer to our earnings release and our Form 8-K that has been furnished to the SEC, both of which are available on our website.

Now I'll turn the call over to Scot.

Scot W. Melland

Thank you, Jennifer. First, let me welcome all of you to the Dice Holdings First Quarter 2013 Conference Call. I'll start today by briefly discussing our performance, including the progress of our Open Web beta. Then I'll hand it over to Mike Durney, our CFO, to take you through our financial performance. I'll make a few closing remarks, and then we'll open it up for some questions.

Recruitment activity across our verticals has been largely stable since our last quarterly report. We continue to see relatively stronger markets in Technology and Energy recruiting compared to softer volumes in global financial services. In the first quarter, worldwide revenues totaled $50.4 million, an increase of 9% year-over-year. Excluding the acquisition of our media properties, revenues increased slightly to $46.4 million. Billings grew 5% year-over-year, due primarily to the inclusion of our Media business and strong growth at Rigzone. As for profitability, adjusted EBITDA margin was 34% of revenue or nearly $17 million per total EBITDA.

Overall, Q1 was a good start to the year, particularly in light of the continued low levels of turnover in professional services, modest job growth and caution due to sequestration, especially in the government and defense sectors. More importantly, our core services are performing well, and our Open Web technology has been well received by Dice customers. Although we are in the early stages of the transformation of our services, the Open Web beta is already having a positive impact on our business.

As I mentioned on our last call, Open Web is a natural language search tool that mines about 50 social sites and billions of web pages to create aggregated professional profiles of individuals. The platform brings together valuable pieces of public information scattered across the web into a useful, searchable profile containing the types of information that recruiters need to source talent. Professional information, like skill sets and titles, current and previous employers, location and educational background, is combined with insight into a candidate's softer side, like interests, hobbies and passions, and often, direct contact information. These aggregated profiles include links to the candidate's public social persona, including links to their blogs, Twitter, GitHub, Google+ and other social profiles. Our goal with Open Web is to give recruiters a comprehensive view of the talent that is available in the market, as well as a more well-rounded view of each candidate's skills and experience, saving them time and improving the fit with their organizations. This capability, along with our core Dice service, offers hiring managers and recruiters a truly complete solution, reaching both passive and active candidates.

We announced the beta on our Dice.com site at the end of January, following a soft launch just after Thanksgiving, and I'm happy to report that we're making steady progress. During the quarter, the number of recruiters using Open Web grew, as did the number of Open Web searches and profile views. Although it still accounts for a small percentage of total Dice usage, Open Web usage is growing and is having a positive impact on the renewals of the customers who use it.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com