The Ft Lauderdale, Fla.-based company earned $77.3 million, or 58 cents a share during the third quarter, compared with $63.8 million, or 45 cents a share, a year ago. Earnings for the latest quarter include a $5.1 million tax settlement benefit. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting 51 cents a share for the quarter.
Third-quarter revenue rose 7.8% to $787.1 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $779.39 million.
The company increased earnings guidance for the year 2006 to $2.03 to $2.06 a share, including the impact of the tax benefit. Analysts' expectation is $1.97 a share for 2006.
Operating income rose 12% to $133.4 million in the quarter.
"During the quarter, we continued to experience strong internal growth and saw our margins grow by 60 basis points," the company said. "Based on the tax benefit, margin enhancement, and an expectation for favorable price and volume growth, we are increasing our earnings per share guidance for the year to a new range of $2.03 to $2.06 a share. Normalized free cash flow is anticipated to be in the upper end of our guidance of $280 million to $290 million."
The company also announced that its board has authorized repurchase of up to $250 million of its common stock under a new stock repurchase program.
This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.