September 18, 2014 / 1:16 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-IHS raises FY revenue outlook on strong subscription growth

(Adds CEO comments, details)

By Soham Chatterjee

Sept 18 (Reuters) - Business research firm IHS Inc raised its full-year revenue forecast, helped by strong growth in its subscription business, and said it was looking to buy more information and analytics providers to the industrial markets.

IHS, whose businesses include Cambridge Energy Research Associates and technology market research firm iSuppli, raised its revenue forecast to $2.23 billion-$2.24 billion for the full year ending Nov. 30, from its previous range of $2.17 billion-$2.23 billion.

The company also narrowed its adjusted profit forecast range to $5.70-$5.80 per share from $5.50-$5.85 per share.

Analysts, on average, were expecting an adjusted profit of $5.80 per share on revenue $2.24 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The publisher of Jane's Defence Weekly said it was looking to boost growth by buying companies that provide information and analytics to the automotive, maritime & trade, and technology sectors.

The company will be looking to buy "substantial, strategic assets" over the next year, Chief Executive Scott Key told Reuters.

IHS usually acquires six or seven companies a year and typically targets firms with about $30 million in annual revenue.

The company told Reuters in June that it would resume making deals in the second half of the year.

Its last major acquisition was the $1.4 billion purchase of R.L. Polk, the owner of used-car history provider Carfax.

The deal, which closed in July last year, boosted margins by 175 basis points on an operating basis in the third quarter, Key said. The CEO also said he expected margins to expand by more than 100 basis points in the current quarter.

IHS's subscription revenue rose 18.4 percent to $432.1 million in the third quarter ended Aug. 31, helped by strong growth in the energy, chemicals and automotive markets in the Americas and Europe.

The company's net income nearly doubled to $46.5 million, or 68 cents per share, from $23.4 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, IHS earned $1.49 per share.

Revenue rose about 16 percent to $556 million from a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of $1.44 per share, on revenue of $556.2 million.

IHS shares closed at $138.62 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had gained about 16 percent this year. (Additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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