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FactSet Research Q4 Results Top Estimates

Financial data provider FactSet Research Systems, Inc. (FDS) reported Tuesday a profit for the fourth quarter that increased from last year, reflecting improved margins and revenue growth as the company continued to add subscribers.

Adjusted earnings per share and quarterly revenues topped analysts' expectations. The company also provided first-quarter earnings guidance, below Street view, and revenue forecast in line with estimates.

"I'm pleased with the continued acceleration on both the buy-side and sell-side as we closed this quarter. The just completed fourth quarter was one of our best quarters in the past decade as many of our financial and operating metrics rose across the board," Chairman and CEO Philip Hadley said in a statement.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company reported net income of $55.41 million or $1.31 a share for the fourth quarter, higher than $50.96 million or $1.16 a share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted net income for the quarter was $60.79 million or $1.43 per share, compared to $51.83 million or $1.18 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, fifteen analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.30 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter increased 9 percent to $238.66 million from $219.33 million in the same quarter last year, and topped thirteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $236.90 million by a whisker.

U.S. revenues for the quarter grew 6.5 percent organically to $161.2 million, and international revenues were up 7.3 percent organically, to $77.4 million from the prior-year quarter.

Annual Subscription Value or ASV for the fourth quarter increased 7.3 percent organically to $963.6 million from last year. ASV from FactSet's U.S. operations was $651.2 million, and $312.4 million were related to international operations.

ASV represents the forward-looking revenues for the next 12 months from all annual subscription services currently being supplied to clients.

Client count at the end of the fourth quarter totaled 2,743, a net increase of 81 clients during the quarter, the largest quarterly growth since 2005. Annual client retention rate was greater than 95 percent of ASV and 93 percent of clients.

Operating margin for the quarter improved 110 basis points to 33.3 percent from last year. Total operating expenses increased to $159.28 million from $148.80 million last year.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of fiscal 2015, FactSet expects earnings in a range of $1.31 to $1.33 per share, on projected revenues between $240 million and $242 million.

Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $1.34 per share on revenues of $241.43 million for the quarter.

FDS closed Monday's regular trading session at $126.14, down $1.80 on a volume of 0.39 million shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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