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Jefferies Profit Rises 53% as Investment-Banking Revenue Climbs

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Jefferies Group Inc., the investment firm that’s been hiring managing directors from the world’s biggest banks, said fiscal third-quarter profit rose 53 percent as investment-banking revenue climbed.

Net income for the three months ended Aug. 31 was $68.3 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $44.8 million, or 22 cents, in the same period a year earlier, the New York-based firm said today in a statement. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of 20 cents. Net income excluding the acquisition of Prudential Bache’s global commodities group was $23 million, or 10 cents per share.

Jefferies, run by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, 50, has been adding staff since the 2008 credit crisis. The firm hired managing directors from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, and Bank of America Corp. Last week, Jefferies said it added a group of senior research analysts in its Hong Kong office.

“Management continues to hire in the face of operating environment deterioration and competitor downsizing,” Jeff Harte, an analyst for Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP, said in a Sept. 8 note. “The real question facing Jefferies shares is whether or not management can continue delivering revenue growth.”

Jefferies, which is down 47 percent this year through yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, fell 67 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $14.12 yesterday.

“Although our firm has never had a stronger capital base or a more diversified business mix, our core revenues and earnings were directly impacted by the extremely difficult and volatile operating environment, particularly in August,” Handler said in the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net; Maryellen Tighe in New York at mtighe6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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