Usually it's a bad idea to love a stock. But, well, I love Taleo (Nasdaq: TLEO ) . Heard of it? (I hope you say "no" -- I also love stocks no one knows about.) Despite its obscurity, Taleo has a strong product and a strong business model -- and is riding the wave of a big trend in tech.
Essentially, Taleo builds talent management software. It helps with the complexities of hiring and keeping employees, such as talent sourcing, performance management, workforce planning, and even succession planning (for key employees).
Then again, the software gets measurable results. For example, one of its top customers, Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) , has reduced search and ad costs by 30% and showed a $20 million improvement in productivity.
Moreover, Taleo delivers its software via the Internet (called "on demand"), which has been a key growth driver for standout companies like Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM ) and NetSuite. By using the on-demand approach, Taleo's customers do not have to make hardware investments or periodic upgrades. The system also has one code base, which makes it easier to add new functionality.
So far, Taleo continues to grow at a nice pace. In the fiscal third quarter, revenues increased 25% year over year to $24.9 million. There were 110 new customers, of which 15 were large enterprises and the rest were small- to medium-size customers. In other words, the company has built a scalable system that can fit the needs of just about any organization.
Taleo's sophisticated online infrastructure is another valuable asset. It processes about 16 million transactions per day, with a 99.9% uptime.
And, interestingly enough, Taleo has another admirer: John de Mol, a Dutch media mogul (who created the "Big Brother" reality show), recently bought 5.15% of the company's stock. And he's definitely someone who loves a good story.
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