Thomson Reuters Earnings Call Nuggets: Gross Proceeds and Quarterly Progression on Revenue Margins

Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE:TRI) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Gross Proceeds

Drew McReynolds – RBC Capital Markets: Just a clarification on the $500 million in proceeds, Stephane is that net of tax?

Stephane Bello – CFO: These will be gross proceeds. There will be some tax implication, but we expect it will not be humungous. So, the net proceeds will end up being somewhere between $400 million and $500 million, Drew.

Drew McReynolds – RBC Capital Markets: Just my real question here. Jim, can you just talk a little bit more about the migration planned onto the Eikon platform post 2013 once all of Eikon is rolled out. We’re just trying to understand – with some of your kind of major accounts what that migration timeline would look like?

James C. Smith – CEO: Yeah. Look, our plan is to migrate as fast as possible, as fast as our customers are willing and able to move. I think we’re going to be in really good shape to do that and as evidenced by our ability on board, and the dramatic uptick in that, I don’t think we’re going to have any gating factors once we get all the platform build out completed this year. I think the only gating factor will be how quickly our customers can move and how much internal build they had to and internal modification they had to do to move onto the new platforms, but I think that’s going to be a relatively – rapid uptake dictated by how quickly the customers can move. I can tell you that our discussions particularly since the launch of Eikon 3.0, there’s pretty solid and unified excitement out there in the customer base and an appetite to move even more quickly. So, I feel pretty confident that, that will move a pace.

Quarterly Progression on Revenue Margins

Sara Gubins – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: There are a lot of moving parts in 2013 and I’m wondering if you can help us with the quarterly progression on revenue margins and earnings throughout the year?

Stephane Bello – CFO: I will take that question. We would expect that revenue growth will improve throughout the year with the first half being the lowest point, due essentially to the flow through from negative sales in 2012 in Financial & Risk. The F&R net sales in the first half of 2012 were quite a bit weaker than in the first half of 2011, but if you look at net sales in the second half of last year, while still negative, they were slightly better than in the second half of 2011. So, that’s why you should see an easier year-over-year comparison, as you look at revenue growth on a year-on-year basis and that’s why revenue growth will improve throughout the year. Now, if you look at EBITDA margin, this should also improve sequentially throughout the year, with Q1 probably being the low point because of the severance cost that Jim referred to and which we have included in our guidance.

Sara Gubins – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Then separately just as I think about net sales in F&R turning positive in the second half. What does mean that for underlying organic revenue growth for F&R in 2013 and ’14, how long is the lag between that turning positive – when are we seeing positive growth in F&R?

Stephane Bello – CFO: I would say if we manage to hit our expectations of turning net sales positive by the end of the year that would mean we enter 2014 with good momentum in net sales and you got to remember that the net sales performance does not include the price increase we get every year. So, we can have slightly negative net sales and still be able to generate flat to slightly positive revenue organic growth rate. So, because net sales were quite as I said negative in 2012 I would expect essentially the revenue decline for F&R this year, but if we end up the year with positive net sales momentum that should turn back to positive growth in 2014.

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