FirstService posts 4th-qtr profit as revenue rises

The Associated Press

FirstService Corp. posted a fourth quarter profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, as the property manager and real estate services company benefitted from stronger revenue and lower income tax costs.

The Canadian company said Wednesday that it earned $65.6 million, or $2.01 per share, for the period that ended Dec. 31. That compared with a loss of $3.7 million, or 12 cents per share, in the 2010 fourth quarter.

FirstService earned 52 cents per share after adjusting for a number of special items. Among those was the impact of a reorganization during the fourth quarter, which ultimately allowed the company to reduce its income tax expense notably, along with acquisition related expenses and depreciation costs.

Revenue for the period increased nearly 8 percent to $594.9 million from $552.1 million. The company said commercial real estate services and residential property management revenue increased during the period, but its property services revenue declined.

Analysts polled by FactSet anticipated earnings of 51 cents per share on revenue of $601.4 million.

For the full year 2011, FirstService said net income available to common shareholders was $64.1 million, or $2.03 per share. That was up from $3.5 million, or 11 cents per share, for all of 2010.'

On ad adjusted basis, results for the year came to $1.81 per share. Annual revenue increased to $2.22 billion from $1.99 billion.

Shares of the company rose 64 cents, more than 2 percent, to $30.22 in afternoon trading.