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Feb 7 (Reuters) - Technology market research firm Gartner Inc (IT.N) beat Wall Street’s view with a 72 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by strong growth at its core research and consulting segments, sending its shares up as much as 12 percent.
Revenue at the research segment, which makes up slightly more than half of total revenue, rose 19 percent, while revenue at the consulting segment rose 20 percent during the fourth quarter.
The company also said it entered into negotiations to sell its non-core vision events business, and the sale is expected to close during the first quarter. In 2007, the unit generated revenue of about $21 million.
Gartner’s fourth-quarter net income rose to $38.8 million, or 37 cents per share, from $22.6 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to 15 percent to $348.4 million.
Analysts expected earnings of 36 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $339.3 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
For 2008, the company is targeting earnings of 90 cents a share to $1.00 a share on total revenue of $1.30 billion to $1.33 billion. Gartner’s current 2008 outlook does not reflect the impact of the planned divestiture of its vision events business. Analysts expect earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $1.30 billion.
The company also said its board authorized the use of up to $250 million for the repurchase of it common stock.
Gartner competes with Forrester Research Inc (FORR.O) and IDC, the research arm of privately owned International Data Group.
Gartner’s stock rose to a high of $16.75, before falling back to trade up $1.73 at $16.50 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)