Nielsen Slips on Missed Earnings

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When Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE: NLSN) released its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday, it said that it had $0.74 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.57 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters called for $0.76 in EPS and revenue of $1.59 billion. In the same period of last year, Nielsen posted EPS of $0.69 and $1.53 billion in revenue.

Revenues within the Watch segment for the third quarter of 2016 increased 6.4%, or 6.7% on a constant currency basis, to $761 million. Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 8.3%, or 8.5% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to ongoing investments and continued client adoption of the Total Audience Measurement framework.

Audio revenues decreased 2.8% on a reported and constant currency basis due to timing of deliveries. Marketing Effectiveness had another strong quarter, growing revenues by 27.9%, or 31.8% on a constant currency basis, due to continued investments in the product portfolio and clients’ growing demand for marketing return on investment and precision targeting tools.

Other Watch revenues decreased 14.6%, or 16.3% on a constant currency basis, due to the sale of the National Research Group, which was completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In terms of guidance for the full year, the company expects to have EPS in the range of $2.73 to $2.79 and revenues growth of 3.5% to 4.0% on a constant currency basis. The consensus estimates call for $2.87 in EPS and $6.37 billion in revenue for the full year.

Mitch Barns, CEO of Nielsen, commented:

Our revenue grew in the third quarter, despite a more challenging environment, highlighting the strength of our balanced portfolio. In the Watch segment, market adoption of Total Audience continues to grow at a healthy clip. Digital Content Ratings are now fully syndicated and the industry is moving forward to a new ratings standard anchored by our Total Audience Measurement system, which is well-positioned to play an important role in the 2017 upfronts.

Shares of Nielsen were trading down more than 14% at $46.90 Tuesday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $58.71 and a 52-week trading range of $42.90 to $55.94.