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Tax Charge Hurts Earnings For Nielsen in 4th Quarter

A tax charge turned Nielsen’s earning lower in the fourth quarter despite higher revenuesfor its video and text measurement business.

Net income decreased 49.1% to $81 million, or 23 cents per share, from $159 million, or 44 cents a share.

This quarter’s earnings include a $104 million tax charge worth 29 cents a share. Excluding the charge, earnings were up 18.2%.

Revenue was up 6.3% to $1.761 billion.

“We executed well on our key initiatives in Watch and Buy while contending with rapidly changing markets in 2017. In 2018, we’ll continue to invest in innovation to drive growth and efficiency as we proceed on the path towards 2020,” said CEO Mitch Barns.

Nielsen’s Watch unit, which includes its TV measurement business, posted a 5.9% increase in revenue  to $913 million in the quarter.

Audience measurement of video and text revenue rose 20.6%. Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote, revenue was up 7.7%.

Marketing Effectiveness revenue rose 36.1%.

Barns said that the Watch segment had a strong year.

“Our teams were relentless in their efforts to enhance our Total Audience Measurement system and drive client adoption across all of its components,” he said. “As the market further evolves due to ongoing media fragmentation, Total Audience Measurement will serve as the foundation for our future, providing the measurement capability, scale, and flexibility necessary to best meet our clients’ needs.”