REUTERS - Thomson Reuters Corp on Wednesday reported revenue below investor expectations as financial services clients in Europe and Britain held off on signing deals due to regulatory and political uncertainty.
“We aren’t satisfied with our top-line growth and we are addressing these issues by controlling everything that is within our control,” CEO Jim Smith told analysts on an earnings call.
Shares fell 7.2 percent to $43.46 on the New York Stock Exchange, their lowest since June, and were at C$56.14 in Toronto.
In its Financial & Risk segment, the company’s biggest, sales outpaced cancellations, a key indicator of future growth. Overall revenue for the unit was up slightly, but was down one percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Specifically, UK and European financial services clients are concerned about upcoming EU securities rules, set to take effect in January, as well as Brexit, Smith said.
”The quarter was the tale of two cities, or more like the tale of two continents,“ as the company saw unexpected softness in the UK and Europe and strength in the Americas,” Smith told Reuters. “We heard from the market, that was largely because of upcoming regulatory changes.”
Thomson Reuters still expects year-over-year growth in its financial business in 2017 and 2018 but the extent of the improvement will depend on fourth quarter net sales, the company said on the call.
The company sees a stronger pipeline of deals for its Financial & Risk unit, Smith said.
The news and information company said full-year profits will be at the high end of its earlier forecast.
Third-quarter net earnings rose to $348 million or 46 cents per share, from $286 million, or 36 cents per share, a year ago.
Adjusted for special items, earnings were 68 cents per share.
Total revenue grew 1 percent excluding currency to $2.79 billion.
Analysts on average, were looking for profit of 58 cents per share, and revenue of $2.82 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.
Thomson Reuters, parent of Reuters News, competes for financial customers with Bloomberg LP, as well as News Corp’s Dow Jones unit.
Some investors question if the company needs to do more to grow revenue.
“The question is what levers can the company pull to move the needle on revenue growth in a more meaningful way,” said Peter Appert, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.
CEO Smith told Reuters he is happy with the company’s current portfolio. “We will always look at ways of strengthening our position at the intersection of regulation and commerce.”
Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Nick Zieminski