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Nielsen Reports Lower First-Quarter Earnings

Nielsen reported lower first-quarter earnings as declines in its Buy unit offset gains in its Watch unit, which provides TV ratings.

Net income was down 29% to $71 million, or 20 cents a share, in the quarter, compared to $100 million, or 27 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues rose 2.6% to $1.526 billion.

Nielsen also announced a 10% increase to its quarterly dividend to 34 cents a share.

The company reiterated its guidance for the full year.

Related: Nielsen Gets Accreditation for ‘Digital in TV Ratings'

“We saw continued strength in our Watch segment and in emerging markets, partially offset by a decline in the U.S. for our Buy segment,” said Mitch Barns, chief executive officer of Nielsen.

“In our Watch segment, progress with our Total Audience Measurement system continued with the addition of out-of-home measurement and the commercial release of Total Content Ratings,” Barns said.

Related: Nielsen Adopting Show IDs From Gracenote

“In our Buy segment, despite the weak growth environment in the U.S., our productivity initiatives enable us to continue to invest in our measurement coverage and our Connected System, both of which are important to future growth,” he said.

Watch segment revenues rose 10.8% to $769 million, including the acquisition of Gracenote. Excluding Gracenote, revenues were up 5.9%. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $323 million, up 8.8%.

Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 13.3%, or 6.1% excluding Gracenote.

Revenues for the Buy segment were down 4.5% to $757 million. Adjusted earnings were down 6.1% to $108 million.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.