Bloomberg News

Jefferies Has Record Net, Splits Stock, Raises Payout

April 18, 2006

Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF:US), an investment bank that caters to midsized companies, said first-quarter profit rose to a record as trading revenue surged. The firm also split its stock 2-for-1 and raised the dividend.

Net income climbed 59 percent to $58.4 million, or 82 cents a share, from $36.7 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier, New York-based Jefferies said in a statement today. Revenue rose 45 percent to a record $415.4 million.

The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial was 64 cents a share. Thomson doesn't disclose how it calculates its estimates.

Shares of Jefferies, led by Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, rose $1.06 to $63.59 at 4:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading after rising as much as 8 percent. They have gained 74 percent in the past 12 months.

First-quarter trading revenue surged 64 percent to $238 million, and investment banking fees rose 8.8 percent to $128 million, the company said.

New shares from the split will be distributed May 15 to shareholders as of April 28. The quarterly dividend will rise 67 percent to 12.5 cents a share from 7.5 cents, adjusted for the split.

It's the second 2-for-1 stock split and the fifth dividend increase in the past three years, the company said.

Separately, Jefferies said it nominated Michael T. O'Kane, 60, to its board. The election of O'Kane, a former senior managing director at TIAA-CREF, the largest U.S. retirement fund manager, would bring the number of Jefferies directors to seven, the firm said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Cresci in New York at gcresci@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Erik Schatzker at eschatzker@bloomberg.net


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