July 25, 2012 / 9:09 PM / 5 years ago

Morningstar profit rises on unit's strong performance

* Q2 EPS $0.56 vs $0.52 last year

* Q2 rev up 3 pct

* Says “clients remain cautious about spending”

July 25 (Reuters) - Investment research firm Morningstar Inc reported a slight increase in quarterly profit on a strong performance from its data and analysis unit, and said it is taking steps to bring down costs.

The company’s first-quarter net income rose to $27.9 million, or 56 cents per share, from $26.5 million, or 52 cents per share, last year.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $166 million.

Licenses for Morningstar Direct, the data and analysis unit, rose 24 percent to 6,771.

The company, which has more than $186 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, said business was “sluggish” during the quarter.

“The investment industry continues to face challenges, and our clients remain cautious about spending,” Chief Executive Joe Mansueto said in a statement.

The company said it is taking steps to “align our cost structure with revenue.”

Revenue from the company’s U.S. operations, which represents about 71 percent of its total revenue, rose 4 percent to $118 million.

The Chicago-based company’s shares, which have fallen more than 7 percent since it last reported quarterly results in April, closed at $58.18 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Sharanya Hrishikesh in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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