NEW YORK (AP) -- Towers Watson & Co. said Monday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings slipped about 1 percent as cost increases offset revenue growth for the risk management and human resources consultant.
The New York company's performance beat analyst expectations, and it raised its earnings forecast for fiscal 2012.
Towers Watson reported net income of $68.2 million, or 95 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31, compared with $69.2 million, or 94 cents per share, a year ago when the company had more shares outstanding.
Adjusted earnings were $1.39 per share in the latest quarter. They exclude non-cash stock-based compensation and other items. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of $1.35 per share.
Revenue rose 4 percent to $901.5 million from $866 million. Analysts expected $896.5 million in revenue.
Towers Watson said revenue from its benefits segment climbed 2 percent to $520 million, as retirement revenues remained flat. Risk and financial services segment revenues rose 6 percent to $220 million.
Meanwhile, its costs of providing services rose 4 percent to $792.6 million, on higher salaries and benefits and general and administrative expenses, among other costs.
Towers Watson expects full-year adjusted earnings to range between $5.14 and $5.19 per share, up from its forecast in February for earnings of $5.05 to $5.15 per share. It forecasts revenues of around $3.45 billion, which falls within the range of its earlier forecast of $3.41 billion to $3.46 billion.
Analysts expected earnings of $5.13 per share on revenue of $3.46 billion.
Company shares fell 87 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $64.48 in morning trading Monday. They are still near the high end of their 52-week range of $51.70 to $68.18.