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Nielsen 1Q net income jumps 40 percent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nielsen, a provider of information and insight into what global consumers watch and buy, said Thursday that its first-quarter net income rose 40 percent, helped by higher revenue from its divisions that monitor shopping and track TV shows.

Nielsen, which has headquarters in New York and the Netherlands, said global demand for information services increased during the quarter as its clients boosted spending on retail measurement, including added coverage in the U.S. market.

The company also said that Arbitron shareholders have approved Nielsen's pending $1.26 billion acquisition of the company, a move that will let Nielsen expand into radio audience measurement.

Net income attributable to its common shareholders for the January-to-March quarter rose to $35 million, or 9 cents per share, from $25 million, or 7 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding depreciation and amortization expenses and other special items, earnings would have totaled 38 cents per share. Analysts expected earnings of 36 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $1.38 billion from $1.33 billion, in line with analysts' average estimate. Revenue in the company's "Buy" segment, which monitors shopping, rose 3 percent. Revenue from the "Watch" division, which tracks TV shows, rose 4 percent. Revenue from the company's "Expositions" business, which runs trade shows, fell 7 percent.

Shares of Nielsen Holdings NV rose 36 cents to $34.73 in afternoon trading, after reaching an all-time high of $36.74 earlier in the session. The stock has risen about 15 percent since the beginning of the year.