Investment Banking Pushes Jefferies To 4Q Profit

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NEW YORK (AP) – Jefferies Group Inc. on Wednesday posted a fourth-quarter profit that easily beat Wall Street expectations, as stronger revenue from investment banking reversed its year-ago loss.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the firm earned $93.5 million, or 46 cents per share. That compared with a loss of $439.9 million, or $2.39 per share, in the year-earlier period.

Quarterly revenue more than tripled to $531.6 million from $186.9 million in the 2008 quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 36 cents per share on revenue of $599.8 million.

Investment banking revenue soared to $193.9 million from $87.2 million, while revenue from principal transactions was $132.7 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $89.2 million.

Asset management fees and investment from managed funds was $14.4 million, compared with a loss of $35.2 million in the year-earlier period.

Meanwhile, noninterest expenses slid to $362.5 million from $886.6 million, with compensation and benefits expenses declining by about two-thirds, to $239.4 million.

For the full year, Jefferies said it earned $280 million, or $1.38 per share, its best annual performance in the company’s 47-year-history.

Shares of Jefferies advanced 94 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $26.77 in midday trading.

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