McGraw-Hill Cos Inc, which is being sued by the U.S. government for bond ratings issued by its Standard & Poor's unit, said quarterly profit from continuing operations rose 86 percent, driven by higher debt issuance.

The company's income from continuing operations rose to $211 million, or 67 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $113 million, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $1.23 billion.

McGraw-Hill had a net loss of $216 million during the quarter. The loss includes one-time costs related to the sale of its education unit to Apollo Global Management LLC in November.

The company had said it would take a non-cash impairment charge of about $450 million to $550 million in the fourth quarter to mark down the value of the unit.

The U.S. government filed a civil lawsuit against Standard & Poor's earlier this month, alleging that the company had inflated ratings associated with mortgage securities during the financial crisis.

"The Company believes the Department of Justice civil lawsuit filed last week is entirely without factual or legal merit and that the company has very strong defenses against this and all pending litigation," it said in a statement.

McGraw-Hill's stock has lost nearly a quarter of its value since the government launched the suit. The shares closed at $44.28 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.