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Dow Jones 1st-quarter profit slumps after shedding year-ago gain

Financial news publisher Dow Jones & Co. reported a sharp drop Tuesday in first-quarter earnings from a year-ago period that included a large accounting gain, but the latest adjusted income topped analyst expectations.

The New York company, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Dow Jones Newswires and other publications, earned $22.6 million (EUR16.7 million), or 27 cents per share, versus $61.5 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.

However, the year-ago period included a net gain of 60 cents per share, mostly from an accounting gain relating to litigation over its former Telerate data delivery service. Dow Jones booked a tax benefit of 2 cents per share in the latest period.

Excluding these items, earnings rose 71.4 percent to $20.5 million (EUR15.1 million), or 24 cents per share, from $11.4 million, or 14 cents per share, last year. Analysts, whose estimates discount items, were looking for profit of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $507.2 million (EUR374.3 million) from $430.1 million, mainly because of the acquisition of the other half of the Factiva news database business that the company did not already own. The company's indexes services, which publish the Dow Jones Industrials average, also boosted sales. Analysts were expecting revenue of $508.2 million (EUR375.1 million).

The U.S. edition of The Journal reported a 1.8 percent decline in advertising revenue, hurt by a sharp drop in technology ads.

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