updated 6/1/2005 6:31:25 PM ET 2005-06-01T22:31:25

Monster Worldwide Inc., the job search company that owns Monster.com, on Wednesday said it sold its Yellow Pages division to private equity firm Audax Group for $80 million.

The transaction will allow Monster to focus more on its strategic operations, and begin to expand the franchise more clearly, the company said. The deal includes $73 million in cash, which is subject to working capital and other adjustments, and a $7 million promissory note with a 3 percent coupon, payable in seven years or sooner. Net proceeds after working capital and other adjustments, taxes and transaction costs are expected to be about $52 million.

"This transaction benefits Monster Worldwide by allowing us to focus more squarely on our core competencies and enhance our prospects for future growth," said Chairman and Chief Executive Andrew J. McKelvey, in a statement. "Given our singular corporate strategy of growing the Monster business and expanding the online recruitment industry across key local, national and global markets, we believe the sale of the Yellow Pages division is a natural step that best serves the interests of Monster Worldwide and TMP Directional Marketing's clients and Monster Worldwide's shareholders."

Monster Worldwide said it expects to record a non-cash loss of about 2 cents a share in the second quarter on the sale of the division.

In April Monster forecast second-quarter earnings of 19 to 20 cents per share on revenue of $249 million to $257 million. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect second-quarter earnings of 20 cents per share on revenue of $256.6 million. Last year the company earned 14 cents per share on revenue of $209.4 million.

The company also reaffirmed its 2005 forecast for earnings from continuing operations of 85 cents to 90 cents a share. Wall Street analysts expect full-year earnings of 88 cents per share. Last year the company earned 62 cents per share for the year.

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