UPDATE 4-Thomson Reuters revenue, margin outlook disappoint

Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:20pm EST
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK Feb 13 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters' shares fell more than 2 percent on its revenue and margin forecasts for 2013, overshadowing bullish remarks from Chief Executive James Smith that his turnaround plan was gaining traction.

The global news and information company posted a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, largely on costs cuts that will continue through the year. Smith said he expects 2,500 job cuts in total in the Financial & Risk division, or about 4 percent of its total global staff, in 2013. Plans are in place to spend $100 million in severance this quarter.

The company forecast that 2013 revenue would increase in the low single digits this year. The outlook was largely anticipated by analysts, who had forecast a 2 percent rise.

The margin for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization is expected to be in the range of 26 percent and 27 percent in 2013, lower than the 2012 performance of 27.4 percent.

"It looks like another year where the overall growth will be muted," said Claudio Aspesi, a senior analyst at Sanford Bernstein & Co.

Smith said the company was halfway through his turnaround plan because of product improvements and stabilization in Europe and that he expects revenue to rebound. "The success we are having today doesn't start showing up until next year," Smith said in an interview.

"It's like night and day. We are in a different place."   Continued...