NEW YORK (
saw earnings rise during the third quarter as the company reported a growth in revenue for the first time in nearly two years. The increase was driven by strong gains in its professional division.
For the quarter ended September 30, earnings rose 65.4% to $268 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $162 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations came in at $406 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $359 million, or 43 cents, and were ahead of analyst estimates of 44 cents a share.
Total revenue rose 1.2% to $3.26 billion from $3.22 billion during the quarter, as its professional division revenue increased 5%.
Within its professional division, revenue from its legal segment was up 3.1% to $945 million from $917 million. Subscription revenue rose 8% attributed to the 14% growth in international revenue as well as a 23% increase in FindLaw.
The company's tax and accounting segment within its professional division grew 8.4% to $244 million from $225 million due to the 15% increase in revenue from its workflow and service solutions, which makes up two-thirds of the segment.
The company's markets division saw a slight drop in revenue to $1.85 billion from $1.86 billion as the increase in its enterprise revenue was offset by declines in the three other segments in the division.
As Thomson Reuters continues to see a dropoff in its markets division revenue, it's finding that the rate of decline is slowing. It reported a 0.5% decline in the third quarter, compared with a 3% drop in the second quarter, a 4% decline in the first quarter and a 5% drop in the fourth quarter of 2009.
In the third quarter the company launched Thomson Reuters Eikon within its markets division.
"I am particularly pleased with the launch and early customer adoption of Thomson Reuters Eikon, the innovative desktop platform for financial professionals which we launched in September," CEO Thomas Glocer said. "Eikon now joins Thomson Reuters Elektron and WestlawNext as powerful new platforms we have released in 2010."
So far, more than 1,000 customers have signed contracts for new desktops.
"These innovative platforms, along with new products we expect to launch in the fourth quarter in our tax & accounting and healthcare & science units will arm our sales force with the tools needed to drive revenue and profit growth in 2011 and beyond," Glocer said.
For the nine months ended September 30, earnings rose 2.7% to $685 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $667 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations came in at $1.12 billion, or $1.32 a share, compared with $1.18 billion, or $1.41.
Revenue fell slightly to $9.61 billion from $9.64 billion as the increase in its professional division revenue was offset by declines in markets revenue. Professional revenue was up 2.9% to $4.1 billion from $3.98 billion, while markets revenue fell 1.8% to $5.52 billion from $5.62 billion.
Management upped its full year guidance and expects revenue to be flat to slightly up in 2010 rather than flat to slightly down. The company also believes that sales will be positive in both the professional and markets divisions for the year.
Thomson Reuters' shares are up more than 18% for the year, and today, shares are up about 0.6% to around $38.45.
-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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