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Thomson Reuters Q3 profit up despite hit to revenue

Thomson Reuters reported better-than-expected quarterly profit despite a drop in revenue, which was hurt by foreign currency.

Third quarter net earnings were $293 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $250 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago.

Adjusted for special items, earnings were 52 cents per share. Analysts, on average, had been looking for 49 cents per share.

Revenue in the largest division, Financial & Risk, which provides news and analytics to financial services businesses, was $1.51 billion. Its net sales were positive in all regions except for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, marking the sixth consecutive quarter that the division has seen positive net sales.

“The large banks had a particularly hard quarter,” said CEO James Smith (photo). “To the extent that we can help banks take out costs and manage their complexity and risk, that’s an opportunity for us.”

During the quarter a cloud-based messaging platform called Symphony which is backed by a number of banks was launched.

Smith said Thomson Reuters is open to linking its own messaging system to Symphony. “We believe an open solution is the ultimate answer,” he said. “We are willing to continue to talk to anyone about progress toward that solution.”

Smith said a replacement for Andrew Rashbass, who departed as chief executive of the group's news division, Reuters, in April, was expected to be announced by year-end.

The company re-affirmed its full-year profit forecast. It continues to expect positive organic revenue growth. ■

Thomson Reuters