|51job Chinese Recruiter Lowered
51job Inc.'s (JOBS) financial results for the second quarter showed a lower net profit margin due to higher sales and marketing expenses and a higher tax rate. Both its revenue and EPS missed the market consensus.
Although 51job continues to have the highest brand recognition in the online and offline recruiting markets in China, the leading position hasn't gained any competitive advantage for 51job to improve its profit margin. Therefore, we are downgrading the stock from Buy to Hold.
China has 253 million internet users as of the end of June 2008. It has approximately 750 million workers now and more and more companies of different size begin to use low-cost online recruiting. This is a very positive tail wind environment in which to operate. Additionally, it is estimated that revenue of online recruiting services in China will reach RMB 2.63 billion in 2011. According to estimates, revenue of online recruiting services will amount for 45.3% of the total recruiting market in 2010.
Through a targeted sales and marketing strategy, 51job has been focusing on further building the '51job' brand as the 'one-stop' human resource services provider. Now 51job is the most famous brand in the recruiting market in China and this position has helped the company enter more profitable second-tier cities in China.
Using a P/E multiple of 18.2x our fiscal year 2009 earnings per ADS estimate of $0.70 yields a target price of $12.75, which can reflect company's great growth prospects, in our view.