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Monster Worldwide at 7-Month High After Upgrade: New York Mover

Monster Worldwide Inc., the online job-recruiting company that’s open to being acquired, rose to the highest level in more than seven months after Robert Baird & Co. upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral.

Monster gained 7.7 percent to $10.22 at 4 p.m. in New York, the highest closing price since Aug. 3. The shares have gained 29 percent this year.

The New York company said March 1 that it was exploring strategic options. Yesterday Chief Executive Officer Sal Iannuzzi said he would weigh selling the company as a whole or in parts. The new rating “somewhat depends” on a positive development on that front, Mark Marcon, a Robert Baird analyst, wrote in a note today.

“A less than fruitful outcome from the effort would likely lead to a significant short-term pullback reflecting a perceived lack of value,” Marcon wrote.

While the company has “significant competitive challenges” it has “strong brand recognition” and is a well-established No.1 or No.2 franchise with recruiters across the globe, he wrote.

Robert Baird had rated the shares neutral since 2006.

“We’re agnostic as to what type of acquirer it is,” Iannuzzi said yesterday in an interview. “The real issue is we know we have value, and we know we can go around and look for opportunities to get that.”

The company is open to talking to private-equity firms, technology companies and large investors, he said.

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