September 22, 2009 / 3:18 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 3-FactSet Research Q4 rev beats, sees strong Q1

* Q4 rev $155 mln vs est $153.9 mln

* Q4 EPS $0.74 in line with estimates

* Sees Q1 EPS $0.73-$0.75 vs est $0.71

* Sees double-digit headcount growth in 2010

* Shares jump 10 pct (Adds conference call details, updates share movement)

By Mansi Dutta

BANGALORE, Sept 22 (Reuters) - FactSet Research Systems Inc (FDS.N), which provides financial information to the investment community, reported quarterly revenue that topped estimates and forecast a first-quarter profit above expectations, sending its shares up 10 percent.

On a conference call a company executive said FactSet, which had 3,000 employees as of Aug. 31, sees a double-digit growth in 2010 headcount.

FactSet’s headcount rose 25 percent in the past 12 months.

For the fourth quarter ending Aug. 31, the company’s net income rose to $36.3 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $33.5 million, or 67 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue for the company, which competes with Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO) (TRI.N), privately-owned Bloomberg, RiskMetrics Group Inc and Dealogic Plc DL.L, grew a percent to $155 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 74 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $153.9 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Annual subscription value — which the company defines as revenue for the next 12 months from all annual subscription services currently being supplied to clients — rose $4 million during the quarter, and the number of users rose by 200 to 37,300.

The quarter was a “potential inflexion” point given that no one was looking for sequential increases in annualized subscription revenue, clients and users for another three quarters or so, William Blair analyst John Neff said.

“This quarter represented a stabilization of cancellation rates since the credit crisis emerged last fall,” a company executive said on the call.

It was also the best quarter of the fiscal year in terms of attracting new clients and top line performance, he said.

For the first quarter, the company expects earnings of 73 cents to 75 cents a share, on revenue of $152 million to $157 million.

Analysts are looking for earnings of 71 cents a share, on revenue of $152.3 million.

Last year, FactSet bought a copy of Thomson Fundamentals database from Thomson Reuters.

Shares of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company were up 8 percent at $67.25 in midday trade Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. It touched a high of $68.84 earlier.

For alerts, please double click [ID:nWNAB1936] (Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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