Thomson Reuters Swings to 4Q Loss on Restructuring Costs

Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI) revealed a deeper-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday as the news and data provider suffered higher restructuring costs and declining revenue.

The owner of the Reuters news agency said it lost $351 million, or 43 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $352 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier.

The red ink was driven by charges related to a restructuring effort announced last year that led to the loss of about 3,000 jobs. Thomson Reuters originally said it expected aggregate charges of about $350 million, but that number has climbed to $395 million.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 49 cents a share, trailing forecasts from analysts for 52 cents.

Revenue fell 2.6% to $3.28 billion, matching the Street’s view.

"While the external headwinds were stronger than anticipated at year-end, particularly in Europe and the emerging markets, I am pleased with the progress we continued to make inside the company and with our customers,” Thomson Reuters CEO James Smith said in a statement. “I am confident this progress will accelerate in 2014."

Thomson Reuters reported a 2% decline in financial and risk revenue due to lower transaction volumes and declining subscription sales.

Trading revenue slumped 5% amid legacy desktop cancellations in equities and fixed income.

Thomson said its Reuters News division posted flat revenue of $86 million.

Looking ahead, Thomson Reuters expects 2014 revenue to be “comparable” with 2013 and free cash flow to range between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion.

Shares of New York-based Thomson Reuters retreated 3.01% to $35.50 in premarket trading on Wednesday. The company’s shares have gained about 19% over the past year through Tuesday’s close at $36.60.