The Advertiser

IT issues has SEEK on a slide

- BELINDA TASKER

ONLINE job search company SEEK has shocked investors with an earnings warning following a series of IT problems within its education division.

Shares in the company plunged to 16-month lows yesterday after chief executive Andrew Bassat warned annual earnings from SEEK Learning would slide about 60 per cent.

The division, which helps workers find study courses to further their skills, has been plagued by problems with an IT systems upgrade undertaken by TAFE NSW.

The problems caused errors and significan­t delays with course enrolments, with many workers ultimately pulling out.

Shares in SEEK were $2.07, or 12.5 per cent, lower at $14.43 at yesterday’s close.

Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said investors were uncertain about whether more bad news could be on the way.

“We need to see if this is a one-off and if it will be dealt with in a timely way, or if there will be more impacts across more earnings periods,” she said. “It’s questionab­le about when (the problems) will be worked out.”

Ms Lee also attributed part of SEEK’s share price slide to some of the premium coming out of the stock, which doubled between mid-2013 and March 2014 due to its strong earnings.

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