(Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp on Tuesday raised its 2021 revenue forecast for the third time this year as the news and information company benefits from a recovering global economy.
The upgrade came as the parent company of Reuters News reported third-quarter sales and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) that beat analysts’ average forecasts.
“We’ve seen pretty good signs of activity in our core segments, across all parts of our businesses,” Chief Executive Steve Hasker said in an interview.
“2021 has been at the upper end of our expectations in terms of return to solid if not healthy economic activity.”
Shares of Thomson Reuters rose about 3% on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
The company now expects full-year revenues to increase 4.5-5.0%, compared with its previous forecast of 4.0-4.5%.
Quarterly revenues climbed 6% to $1.53 billion, compared to expectations of $1.5 billion, while an 18% rise in adjusted EPS to 46 cents beat analysts’ mean estimate of 38 cents, according to Refinitiv.
Four of Thomson Reuters’ five divisions – Legal Professionals, Tax & Accounting Professionals, Corporates, and Reuters News – showed sales rising 6% on a constant currency basis.
Reuters News revenue benefited from gains in its business with media customers and a 60% rise in sales at its events business that was hurt by the pandemic.
Reuters News makes more than half its revenue from supplying news to Refinitiv, a data company spun off from Thomson Reuters and now owned by the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
Hasker said he saw opportunities to invest in three areas in Reuters News: its business with Refinitiv; its agency operations which supply video, pictures, graphics and stories to media companies; and the professional news segment serving lawyers, accountants and other groups.
Quarterly group operating profit fell 11% compared to the prior year when the company received a “significant” benefit from the revaluation of warrants the company held in Refinitiv.
The LSE in January closed its $27-billion deal for Refinitiv. Thomson Reuters holds a minority stake in the LSE following the deal, worth $7.1 billion at the end of October.
Thomson Reuters still has $700 million remaining of a $2 billion mergers and acquisition budget, but Chief Financial Officer Michael Eastwood said the company had much more available for deals.
“Given the passage of time and the performance of our business, we have significant capacity beyond the $700 million,” he said in an interview.
Thomson Reuters launched in October a $100 million venture fund to invest in early stage companies serving professional audiences.
The company said on Tuesday it had repurchased $1.1 billion worth of shares by the end of October, as part of a $1.2 billion buyback program.