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Thomson Reuters to cut 2,500 jobs

NEW YORK – News and financial information company Thomson Reuters on Wednesday said it is cutting 2,500 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, this year as it tries to reduce costs and turn around its largest division.

CEO Jim Smith told analysts on a conference call Wednesday that the company is eliminating the positions from its "Financial and Risk" division, which rents out trading terminals to the financial industry. It accounts for just over half of Thomson Reuters' revenue.

"These are not easy decisions, but our cost structure has to meet our customer's requirements," Smith said.

Thomson Reuters has about 60,000 employees.

On Wednesday, the company said it posted a profit of $372 million for the fourth quarter after a large loss in the same period a year earlier, capping what Smith called "a watershed year" in the company's turnaround.

The New York-based company earned $372 million, or 45 cents per share, in the October to December period. That's up from a loss of $2.6 billion, or $3.11 per share, in the same period a year ago, when it took a $3 billion charge related to the declining value of its financial services business, which accounts for more than half of its revenue.

Excluding one-time items, Thomson Reuters' adjusted earnings were 60 cents per share in the latest quarter, up from 54 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $3.4 billion from $3.58 billion due to divestitures. It was up 2 percent when factoring those out.

Analysts were on average expecting adjusted earnings of 54 cents per share on revenue of $3.37 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

Smith said the company was making progress on its key priorities, which include investing in growing sectors like intellectual property protection and legal information.

The company's stock slid 73 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $29.92 in midday trading. The stock is still close to a 52-week high of $31.18, which it hit two weeks ago.

For the full year, Thomson Reuters earned $2.07 billion, or $2.49 per share, on revenue of $13.3 billion. That compares with a loss of $1.39 billion, or $1.67 per share, on revenue of $13.8 billion in 2011.

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