2012/02/10

Thomson Reuters posts loss on $3 bn writedown

NEW YORK, February  9, 2012 (AFP) - Thomson Reuters posted a fourth-quarter loss on Thursday as the financial news and information provider took a $3 billion writedown on its financial services business.

Thomson Reuters, which is incorporated in Canada and has its headquarters in New York, reported a loss of $2.57 billion for the quarter compared to a profit of $224 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Leaving aside the $3 billion writedown, earnings per share of 54 cents were better than the 37 cents per share of a year ago, though slightly below the 56 cents per share forecast by Wall Street analysts.

Thomson Reuters said its fourth-quarter results also included a $50 million charge related to the reorganization of its former Markets division, which has been hurt by the financial crisis and competing products.

Revenue grew three percent in the quarter to $3.58 billion. For the year, Thomson Reuters saw revenue increase six percent to $13.81 billion.

"Our results once again proved the resilience of our business," said James Smith, who took over as chief executive of Thomson Reuters on January 1 from Tom Glocer.

"The units in the former Professional division continued to perform well and we made significant strides in kick-starting the growth engine in our former Markets division," Smith said.

Thomson Reuters' Professional division provides legal, tax and accounting, health care and science products and has been performing better recently than the Markets division, which supplies financial and other products.

Thomson Reuters announced a reorganization in September that involves merging its Markets division and Professional division.

Smith said Thomson Reuters would be focused in 2012 "on a series of product launches and service improvements across all our key customer groups."

Revenue grew nine percent in the Professional division in the fourth quarter to $1.5 billion and increased by two percent at the Markets division to $1.86 billion.

Media revenue was up one percent at $87 million.

Thomson Reuters shares were down 0.58 percent at $27.61 in early afternoon trading on Wall Street.