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Towers Watson's net income dips in fiscal 1Q

NEW YORK (AP) -- Towers Watson & Co.'s net income declined 2 percent in its fiscal first quarter, as costs of a recent acquisition offset higher revenue for the risk management and human resources consulting company.

The company said Tuesday that it earned $58.7 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $59.7 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, profit was unchanged at 82 cents.

Stripping out the impact of costs related to its acquisition of Medicare exchange operator Exchange Health in May, Towers Watson earned $1.13 per share in the latest quarter.

On that basis, the company's results trumped analysts' consensus forecast, which called for earnings of $1.06 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue for the quarter rose 3 percent to $834.2 million from $810.4 million a year earlier. Analysts were expecting $815.7 million.

Expenses increased 4 percent to $744.4 million.

Towers Watson noted that Exchange Health, now its Exchange Solutions segment, incurs significant costs in the first half of the fiscal year as it looks to enroll new members.

The company expects revenue will range from $3.52 billion to $3.60 billion in fiscal 2013, which ends in June. It projects adjusted earnings per share between $5.12 and $5.20. Analysts are anticipating full-year adjusted earnings of $5.14 per share on $3.54 billion in revenue.

For the current quarter, Towers Watson projects revenue will range from $880 million to $900 million, and adjusted earnings per share from $1.22 to $1.27. Wall Street expects second-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.29 and revenue of $899.9 million.

Shares in Towers Watson rose 99 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $54.79 in afternoon trading. Through Monday's close, stock had dropped 10 percent this year.