Nielsen Posts Steady Third-Quarter Revenue Gains

Nielsen Holdings’ third-quarter financial results posted steady core revenue growth, according to analysts. Stock market investors, however, were not impressed.

Total revenue for the third-quarter period was up 4.5% to $1.64 billion, with net profits 12% higher to $146 million.

“Nielsen reported third-quarter 2017 earnings that were generally solid,” said Brian Wieser, senior media analyst at Pivotal Research Group.

Still, Nielsen's stock was down 5.9% to $38.70 on early-morning Wednesday trading. A week ago, after announcing its new ratings service measuring digital media platforms like Netflix, its stock was up 4%.

Nielsen’s Watch segment -- its media audience measurement business -- grew 10.1% to $838 million in revenues and 4.6% in the absence of its Gracenote acquisition, completed in February. 

The company’s Buy segment -- its market research data products -- slipped 0.7% to $803 million. An improvement came with better business from emerging markets of its Buy business -- up 10.8%. Developed markets were down 5.4%.



Looking at the Buy segment on a constant currency basis, the business declined by 2.1%, comparable to the second quarter’s 2% decline -- less than the 3.7% decline reported in the first quarter.

With regard to new services, Wieser says products have gained traction with major TV networks, but progress around Total Content Ratings is moving at a slower pace. He adds that this “may have been expected in the past, given the sometimes diverging interests of some of the media owners that needed to buy into Nielsen’s approach.”

Todd Juenger, senior research analyst for Bernstein Research, noted: “We believe the market to be happy with the Q3 print.” He says the next big news of its long-term guidance will come from Nielsen’s Investor Day.

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