In today's earnings release and during the conference call, we are providing adjusted financial information to enable investors to make meaningful comparisons of the company's operating performance between periods to view the company's business from the same perspective as management's. The earnings release contains exhibits that reconcile the differences between the non-GAAP measures and the comparable financial measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.Before we begin, I need to provide certain cautionary remarks about forward-looking statements. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in the teleconference may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that includes projections, estimates and descriptions of future events. Any such statements are based on current expectations, current economic conditions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results to differ materially from results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. In this regard, we direct visitors -- or listeners, excuse me, to the cautionary statements contained in our Form 10-Ks, 10-Qs and other periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We're aware that we do have some media representatives with us on the call. However, this call is for investors, and we would ask that questions from the media be directed to Patti Rockenwagner in our New York office at area code (212) 512-3533. That's (212) 512-3533 and subsequent to this call. Now I'd like to turn the call over to Harold McGraw, our Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Terry? Harold McGraw Okay. Good morning, everyone, and thank you, Don, and welcome to our third quarter conference call. With me this morning is Jack Callahan, our Chief Financial Officer. I've also asked Lou Eccleston, President of McGraw-Hill Financial, to join us. Lou will review the results in the new McGraw-Hill Financial segment, and he'll also address some of the steps that he is taking to streamline that structure and create value-added solutions for future growth. Also, in future meetings, we'll continue to include other senior managers so that you can hear directly from them. Certainly, we'll have Doug Peterson, the recently appointed President of Standard & Poor's; Glenn Goldberg, President of Information & Media, and other senior managers to address key aspects of our operations.
This morning, Jack and I will review the third quarter results and the outlook for the balance of the year. We're also providing an update on our Growth and Value Plan, including the cost reduction target, our accelerated share repurchase program and the sale of our broadcasting business.On balance, our business performed well in the third quarter and this is despite some very challenging market conditions. We benefited from strong double-digit revenue and profit growth at McGraw-Hill Financial, and we're pleased with the solid performance of our Information & Media segment, where revenue grew by nearly 12% on a continuing basis. Standard & Poor's Ratings and McGraw-Hill Education both experienced significant headwinds, which affected our overall performance in the third quarter. For Standard & Poor's Ratings, the challenge really was market volatility and the sharp decline in the new issue market. For McGraw-Hill Education, the challenge was the decline in the elementary-high school market, marked by low purchasing for state new adoption instruction materials. And here, despite these challenges, earnings per share from continuing operations in the third quarter was $1.21, the same as on an adjusted basis as last year. Revenue declined slightly to $1.9 billion in the third quarter and that's compared to $2 billion last year. Earnings per diluted share on an adjusted basis for the first 9 months increased by 6.3% to $2.27, and revenue grew by 3.3% to $4.7 billion. Uncertainty in global credit markets and the ongoing challenges in education make us a bit cautious about the near-term outlook, but despite market volatility, we expect to finish the year well and within our current 2011 guidance of $2.81 to $2.86 per diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, and that compares to adjusted earnings per share of $2.68 in 2010. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com