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Bull of the Day: Dice Holdings

The economy has continued to heat up as jobs have been added and consumer confidence has increased. While sites like Monster and CareerBuilder dominate the job search, upstarts are beginning to challenge them for market share. Today’s Bull of the Day is looking to organize the world’s talent by providing specialized insights and relevant connections tailored to specific professions and industries. The company serves the technology, security-clearance, financial services, energy, healthcare and hospitality industries.

Dice Holdings (NYSE: DHX) is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) in the internet content industry. The company’s mission is to help its customers source and hire the most qualified professionals in select and highly skilled occupations and to help those professionals find the best job opportunities in their respective fields and further their careers.

Dice has been growing its company and its brand through new products and services, fast innovation in current services and acquisitions. One new product is its Open Web platform. Open Web makes tech recruiting easier by bringing together social data from the 130 sites that matter most and presenting the data in a way that’s simple to act on. It’s a big data platform made for busy tech recruiters. With Open Web employers can reach millions more in-demand candidates, boost their response rates by understanding what makes candidates tick and connect fast through phone, email, Twitter and Facebook.

Dice has made several acquisitions over the last 18 months including the IT Job Board, Health eCareers network, HCareers and In total, the acquisitions are anticipated to add $49 million to 2014 GAAP revenue. The additional revenue should provide added strength to its already strong balance income statement. The business has provided strong free cash flow for each of the last six years.

The last two quarters Dice has surprised to the upside. Q2 2014 saw earnings come in at 13 cents versus estimates for 7 cents while Q3 2014’s beat came in at 21 cents versus expectations of 10 cents. These two recent surprises are part of the reason for the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
But the lions share comes from the rush of recent earnings estimate revisions to the upside. Over the last 30 days three analysts have revised to the upside for the current quarter and next year, while four analysts have upped the ante for the current year. These bullish revisions have pushed consensus for the current year up to 51 cents versus 43 cents and have taken next year’s numbers up from 52 cents to 57 cents.

Investors have taken note of the bullish attitude on the street. Buying began in early June with DHX trading below $7. Throughout the uptrend, DHX saw slow and steady increases in volume. After the last earnings surprise the stock jumped to $9 but there wasn’t enough momentum after the earnings to carry it through. The stock slowly retreated to $8 before the buyers jumped in again as the market troughed and took the stock all the way to the 52-week high near $11.50. Over the last few sessions DHX has pulled back a bit, giving a good buying opportunity with the stock on sale here near $10.50.

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