Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thomson Reports 1st Q

Thomson reported an 11% top line gain and an 8% operating profit gain to start off the year. Organic revenue growth was 6% led by the Legal, Tax and Accounting unit. Diluted EPS was up 14c to 35cents versus the same period last year. The quarterly operating results encourage the notion that this is a very financially strong business with cash flow up 25%, significant investments being undertaken in new intitiatives and a closely managed cost structure. Furthermore, Thomson are bullish on the future:

The business outlook for 2007 that was provided on February 8, 2007 remains unchanged. Revenue growth is expected to be at the high end of the company’s long-term target range of 7%-9%, prior to the deployment of the proceeds from the sale of Thomson Learning. Operating margin is expected to be at or above 2006 levels, despite increasing investments in efficiency initiatives. Cash generated by continuing operations is expected to grow, excluding cash generated through deployment of the Thomson Learning sale proceeds.

Thomson expects its performance to further strengthen in 2008. The company expects to sustain its long-term revenue growth rates; operating margin is expected to increase to above 20%; and free cash flow is expected to strengthen, as improvements in operating performance are projected to more than offset the loss of Thomson Learning’s free cash flow, even before deployment of the Thomson Learning sale proceeds.

Here is the press release.

In discussing the pending sale of the learning unit CEO Harrington said:
"The Thomson Learning sales process is on schedule and has attracted a very high level of interest from prospective buyers. We anticipateannouncing a buyer at the end of the second quarter and closing thetransaction in the third quarter. We will use the proceeds from the sale topursue opportunities aligned with our growth strategy and business model.We will be disciplined in reinvesting the proceeds and will focus onopportunities that drive growth and create value for shareholders."

The company did not break out financial results from the Learning group which is classified as discountinued operations other than to show consolidates earnings up $82mm over last year. It is hard to draw any conclusions from this given the limited detail however.

Here are the slides from their financial presentation.

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