Seek downgraded to Sell

Shares in Seek have risen 33% since we wrote about Seek’s LinkedIn threat on 28 Mar 13 (Hold $9.90). In that article we explained why Seek’s core recruitment business is of a lower quality than, say, Carsales.com or REA Group.

The nub of the problem is that Seek trades in people, with one side of the deal being the people themselves, and people have their own way of doing things. Many job vacancies appear and are filled without an ad ever being placed, and people are finding new ways of connecting all the time. LinkedIn is leading the charge for higher-paid full-time jobs, but sites like Freelancer.com, Workible and AirTasker operate across the spectrum, from high-tech graphic design to picking up the groceries. Uber brings together taxi drivers with people looking for a ride. All of this offers great opportunity, including for Seek, but it’s increasingly clear that the company is far from being the only game in town.

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