Nielsen Buy Segment Dips, Watch Biz Grows

Nielsen offered up a mixed first-quarter financial picture -- primarily from tougher-than-expected foreign exchange rate changes.

First-quarter net income gained 8.6% to $63 million, with revenue sinking 2.1% to $1.46 billion.

Nielsen's Buy segment, which provides market research data, went 4.8% lower. Taking out foreign currency effects, revenue climbed 5.1% to $798 million.

Nielsen’s Watch business -- measuring/metric products for business media owners and advertisers -- grew 1.2%. Excluding foreign currency changes, sales grew 3.6% to $660 million.

Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for the Pivotal Research Group, said the results were “somewhat weaker than expected.” He added: “We think that views on the company should be generally as they were prior to today’s results.”

Still, he added, “if we are concerned about any particular part of the business, it is the Buy segment, given ongoing constraints in spending by marketers in developed markets on discretionary activities.”

Wieser notes that Nielsen's large capital expenditures have come from investments to improve its local TV ratings service, as well as better measurement of video-on demand using audio.

Midday trading of Nielsen was virtually flat -- down 0.06% at $45.80.



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