Thomson Reuters reports higher fourth-quarter sales, profit

NEW YORK :Thomson Reuters Corp on Thursday reported higher sales and operating profit in the fourth quarter, helped by cost cuts and gains on divestitures.

The news and information company reported adjusted earnings of 73 cents per share. It was not immediately clear if that compared directly to analyst forecasts for 65 cents.

Total revenues rose 3 per cent in the quarter to $1.76 billion, matching expectations, according to estimates from Refinitiv. A strong dollar took 2 per centage points off the sales growth. Divestitures reduced sales growth by another 1 point.

Thomson Reuters, which owns the Westlaw legal database and the Checkpoint tax and accounting service, said four of its five business segments showed higher sales and operating profit, but those were lower in the Global Print business.

It said it completed its two-year Change program to save on costs. After it completes a $2 billion share repurchase program in the second quarter, the company said it planned to return $2 billion in capital to shareholders and possibly conduct a share stock split. 

During the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters said it would buy SurePrep LLC, a U.S.-based provider of tax automation software and services, for $500 million in cash. That deal was completed at the start of January, it said.

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