Towers Watson 1Q Trumps Wall Street on Sales Growth

By Features FOXBusiness

Fueled by across-the-board sales growth, Towers Watson (TW) more than doubled its first-quarter profit and forecasted on Monday a fiscal 2012 profit in line with Wall Street expectations.

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The New York-based global professional services and consulting company posted net income of $69.7 million, or 82 cents a share, compared with $33 million, or 45 cents, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned $1.19 a share, which is widely ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $1.06 a share.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $810 million, up 8% from $751 million a year ago, missing the Street’s view of $814 million. The results were driven by 7% sales growth in its benefits unit to $455 million and a 17% improvement to $194 million in risk and financial services.

“We continue to deliver revenue growth while maintaining strong margins,” Towers Watson CEO John Haley said in a statement. “While the general economic environment remains uncertain, I am confident that Towers Watson continues to be well-positioned for success.”

For fiscal 2012, Tower Watson said it predicts earnings in the range of $4.95 to $5.10 a share on sales between $3.4 billion and $3.5 billion, Wall Street’s looking for a profit of $4.92 a share on sales of $3.44 billion.

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In the current quarter, the company forecasts a profit of $1.18 to $1.22 a share on revenue between $840 million to $855 million. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.21 a share on sales of $846.3 million.