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Dice Holdings 4Q profit falls 14 pct, tops Street

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dice Holdings Inc. reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income slid 14 percent due to higher costs for sales and marketing as it prepared to unveil new products.

The career-oriented website operator reported net income of $9 million, or 15 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That's compared with $10.5 million, or 15 cents per share, in the same period of the prior year.

The recent quarter's per-share results got a boost because of an 11 percent drop in the number of outstanding shares since the 2011 quarter.

Dice's revenue increased 11 percent to $52.7 million from $47.4 million the prior year, helped by recent acquisitions.

Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to earn 14 cents per share on revenue of $51.4 million, according to data provider FactSet.

The company also unveiled its new search tool, Open Web, on Wednesday. It mines publicly available information on roughly 50 social and professional networks and billions of web pages to create a "super" profile of a candidate's professional experience and interests.

Scot Melland, CEO, president and chairman of the company, said initial feedback on Open Web is encouraging. Looking ahead, he said the company will focus on reaching out to new customers and increasing its reach within its existing communities and capitalizing on its new Open Web technology.

For the year, the company reported earnings of $38.1 million, or 59 cents per share, up from $34.1 million, or 49 cents per share, in 2011.

The company said it expects to net income of $7 million, or 11 cents per share, for the first quarter, on revenue of $50.5 million. Analysts, on average, were forecasting net income of $8.2 million, or 13 cents per share, on revenue of $50.8 million.

For the full year 2013, Dice forecast net income of $38.4 million, or 63 cents per share, on revenue of $217 million. Wall Street was expecting, on average, net income of $39.3 million, or 63 cents per share, on revenue of $215.9 million.

Dice, based in New York, provides specialized websites for professional communities, including technology and engineering, health care, financial services and energy industries.

Its shares fell 8 cents to $9.69 by afternoon, after sinking as low as $9.41 earlier in the session. Its stock price remains near the high-end of its 52-week trading range of $6.95 to $10.99.