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Jefferies First-Quarter Profit Rises 23% on Investment Banking

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March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Jefferies Group LLC, the Wall Street firm owned by Leucadia National Corp., said first-quarter profit rose 23 percent as investment-banking revenue increased.

Net earnings for the three months ended Feb. 28 totaled $105 million, New York-based Jefferies said today in a statement. The figure is preliminary, and was released because the firm plans to hold a conference call with investors today, Jefferies said. Last year’s results came before Jefferies’s sale to Leucadia was completed, and might not be comparable.

Investment-banking revenue increased 42 percent to $410 million in the first quarter, based on figures provided in today’s statement and 2013 results on the company’s website. Total net revenue climbed about 10 percent to $875 million.

Jefferies’ earnings rose amid warnings by Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. that the year’s first quarter was a weak one for the business of trading stocks and bonds. Jefferies’s sales and trading revenue fell 11 percent to $450 million, based on the data.

Richard Khaleel, a spokesman for the firm, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking more information about the results.

The firm also said today it marked down its holdings in Knight Capital Group Inc. and Harbinger Group Inc. by a total of $15 million in the quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zeke Faux in New York at zfaux@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Eichenbaum at peichenbaum@bloomberg.net Steve Dickson, Steven Crabill