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UPDATE 1-Thomson Reuters profit tops Wall St forecasts

(Adds earnings per share, comparisons with analyst estimates, detail on segment performance)

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and reaffirmed its forecast for the rest of this year and 2020.

The news and information provider and parent of Reuters News reported earnings excluding special items of 36 cents per share, compared with 28 cents per share a year ago.

That was above the average analyst estimate of 25 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

First-quarter revenue rose 8 percent from a year ago to $1.49 billion, slightly below analysts' average estimate of $1.5 billion.

Currency exchange rates weighed on sales across the company's operations. Excluding that effect, each of the company's units reported higher revenue. The largest business, Legal Professionals, reported a 3-percent rise in sales in constant currency and a 19-percent jump in adjusted earnings.

For 2019, the company repeated its forecast for revenue growth of 7% to 8.5% before the effect of currency exchange rates and sales growth of about half that pace in 2020.

Last year, Thomson Reuters sold a 55-percent stake in its Financial & Risk (F&R) unit, which provides data and news primarily to financial customers, to private equity firm Blackstone Group LP. The deal valued the F&R unit, now a standalone business called Refinitiv, at about $20 billion.

Revenue from Reuters News more than doubled to $155 million in the quarter, due to the 30-year agreement for Reuters to supply news and editorial content to Refinitiv, which began in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Thomson Reuters, controlled by Canada's Thomson family, has said it set aside $2 billion of the $17 billion proceeds from the Blackstone deal to make purchases to help expand its Legal, Tax & Accounting and Corporates businesses.

In December, Thomson Reuters said it would cut its workforce by 12 percent in the next two years, cutting 3,200 jobs, as part of a plan to streamline the business and reduce costs.

(Writing by Nick Zieminski in New York Editing by Bill Rigby)