Thomson Reuters Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Thomson Reuters (TRI)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 31, 2012 8:30 am ET


Frank J. Golden - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

James C. Smith - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Stephane Bello - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Drew McReynolds - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Sara Gubins - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Peter P. Appert - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

Vince Valentini - TD Securities Equity Research

Suzanne E. Stein - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

William G. Bird - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Adam Shine - National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division

Tim Casey - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Douglas M. Arthur - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Brian Karimzad - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Nick Michael Edward Dempsey - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Phillip Huang - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Matthew Walker - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Thomson Reuters Second Quarter 2010 (sic)

Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Frank Golden, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Frank J. Golden

Good morning, and thank you for joining us as we report our second quarter results. We'll begin today with our CEO, Jim Smith; followed by our CFO, Stephane Bello. Following Jim and Stephane's presentations, we will open the call for questions. Please limit yourself to one question each.

Throughout today's presentation, keep in mind that when we compare performance period-on-period, we look at revenue growth rates before currency as we believe this provides the best basis to measure the underlying performance of the business. In addition, today's results are presented on an ongoing basis and exclude disposals announced to date.

Today's presentation contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of risks and uncertainties discussed in reports and filings that we provide to regulatory agencies. You can access these documents on our website or by contacting our Investor Relations Department.

Let me now turn it over to the CEO of Thomson Reuters, Jim Smith.

James C. Smith

Thank you, Frank, and thanks to those of you on the call for joining us. Today, we'll review the second quarter results and update you on the progress we've made over the past 6 months against the priorities and strategy I outlined earlier this year. I will then turn it over to Stephane who'll provide you with further details on the results for the quarter.

Our results for the quarter and for the first half of the year can be characterized as on track for the company as a whole. In the second quarter, total revenues were up 3% with Legal, Tax & Accounting and IP & Science again recording good, consistent performance. In the aggregate, these 3 businesses were up 7% of which 3% was organic. Financial & Risk grew modestly in what continues to be a very challenging and volatile global financial services market, particularly in Europe.

EBITDA increased slightly and the margin was flat with the prior period. Operating profit declined 8% and the margin declined 190 basis points as expected. The operating margin was impacted by Financial & Risk recording nominal revenue growth, offset by planned investments in products, customer service and customer administration as we work to get more product in the pipeline and to improve our service and support levels on the front and back ends. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.54 compared to $0.51 in Q2 2011, a 6% increase.

Also, last month, we closed the sale of our Healthcare business for $1.25 billion in cash and expect after -- net after-tax proceeds of about $1 billion. As discussed during our Q1 earnings call, the proceeds, plus our free cash flow, will be used for tactical acquisitions, organic investment and for share buybacks on an opportunistic basis.

Lastly, and importantly, we are reaffirming our full year 2012 outlook.

Now let me turn to our results by business segment. Financial & Risk revenues rose 1%. Growth in Marketplaces and Governance, Risk & Compliance were offset by declines in Trading and Investors. Revenues by geography saw the Americas up 3%; Europe Middle East and Africa was flat; and Asia declined 2% due to continued softness in Japan.

Tax & Accounting had another solid quarter with revenues up 25%, 5% organic, driven by strong sales of ONESOURCE and software sales to professional accounting firms.

IP & Science grew 4%.

And Legal had another good quarter, with revenues up 3%; 2% organic, driven by Elite, FindLaw and the global legal businesses, including Latin America.

Finally, our fast-developing Global Growth businesses grew 19% in the quarter, 8% organic, and now represent about $900 million in annual revenue. For reporting purposes, those GGO numbers are included within the appropriate business segment results.

If there was one word I would use to characterize our formal professional division businesses, it would be consistency. Our Legal, Tax & Accounting and IP & Science businesses continue to achieve good results, and on a combined basis, recorded their seventh consecutive quarter of 5%-plus growth. We're reaping the rewards of the investments we've made in these businesses over the past several years as we've strengthened our market position and we are achieving profitable growth. This solid performance is the result of having had a clear strategy and playbook, having a deep understanding of the markets in which we operate, staying close to our customers, focusing on where we can win and investing behind those opportunities has led to consistent results quarter-after-quarter.

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