said earnings rose in the first quarter both before and after an asset sale, thanks to a solid performance at the company's credit rating service.
The company earned $95.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on revenue of $846.5 million in the first quarter, compared with earnings of $29.2 million, or 15 cents a share, on revenue of $830.5 million last year. The latest quarter includes a gain of about $57 million from the sale of its S&P Comstock unit. On a continuing basis, earnings were $38.2 million, or 20 cents a share, a penny better than expectations.
Within its financial services segment, revenue jumped 8.3% to $394.9 million, while operating profits rose 9.6% to $145.0 million. The company said strong growth in ratings of structured finance products offset some demand weakness among financial companies.
In its education segment, revenue declined 1.6% in the first quarter to $277.2 million, and the operating loss widened 1.4% to $72.8 million. The company cited weaker sales of technology titles and said concerns about states' fiscal health creates "uncertainty about the outlook for educational funding."