(Adds comments from CEO Jim Smith)
Nov 1 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp on Wednesday beat quarterly profit expectations on Wednesday, even as revenue slightly missed, and said full-year earnings will be at the high end of its earlier forecast.
UK and European financial services clients held off on signing deals amidst regulatory and political uncertainty, including Brexit and upcoming EU securities rules, the company's CEO told Reuters.
In its Financial & Risk segment, the company's biggest, sales outpaced cancellations, a key indicator of future growth. Overall revenue for the unit was up slightly, but was down one percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
"The quarter was the tale of two cities, or more like the tale of two continents," as the company saw unexpected softness in the UK and Europe and strength in the Americas, CEO Jim Smith said. "We heard from the market, that was largely because of upcoming regulatory changes."
The company sees a stronger pipeline of deals for its Financial & Risk unit, which makes up more than half of the company's revenue, Smith told Reuters in an interview Wednesday.
The news and information company said full-year profits will be at the high end of its earlier forecast.
Third-quarter net earnings rose to $348 million or 46 cents per share, from $286 million, or 36 cents per share, a year ago.
Adjusted for special items, earnings were 68 cents per share.
Total revenue grew 1 percent excluding currency to $2.79 billion.
Analysts on average, were looking for profit of 58 cents per share, and revenue of $2.82 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.
Thomson Reuters, parent of Reuters News, competes for financial customers with Bloomberg LP, as well as News Corp's Dow Jones unit.
While Thomson Reuters has continued to grow in the low single digits, some investors question if the company needs to do more to grow revenue.
"The question is what levers can the company pull to move the needle on revenue growth in a more meaningful way," said Peter Appert, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.
CEO Smith said he is happy with the company's current portfolio. "We will always look at ways of strengthening our position at the intersection of regulation and commerce." (Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Nick Zieminski)