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Moody's profit beats estimates as analytics unit revenue rises

* First-qtr adj earnings $0.97/shr vs est $0.91

* Revenue at analytics unit rises 15 pct

* Reaffirms full-year earnings view of $3.90-$4.00/shr

April 25 (Reuters) - Credit rating agency Moody's Corp reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by higher income from its analytics unit.

Net income attributable to Moody's rose to $218 million, or $1 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $188.4 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an operating basis, the company earned 97 cents per share, above analysts' average estimate of 91 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue increased 5 percent to $767.2 million but fell short of the average analyst estimate of $770.2 million.

Revenue at Moody's analytics division, which sells financial research and data for assessing risk, rose 15 percent to $241.4 million, helped in part by the company's acquisition of Amba Investment Services.

The analytics department has helped Moody's weather a slowdown in bond issuance. Bond rating still forms the bulk of Moody's revenue and that unit's revenue rose less than 1 percent to $525.8 million.

The global bond markets, which hit record highs last year due to historic low interest rates, were muted during the first two months of the year.

Moody's along with Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, and Fitch Ratings, owned by Fimalac SA's, have a 95 percent share of the credit rating market.

McGraw Hill Financial Inc, which owns Standard & Poor's, reports results next week.

Moody's reaffirmed its full-year forecast for earnings of $3.90 to $4.00 per share and revenue growth percentage in high-single digits.

Moody's shares, which have risen about 45 percent in the year to Thursday's close, were little changed at $79.33 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

(Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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