DST earnings rise 12.8 percent, boosted by investments

Earnings rose 12.8 percent at DST Systems Inc. during the third quarter, boosted in part by its continuing sales of assets.

The Kansas City-based company said it earned $96.9 million, or $2.23 a share, during the three months that ended Sept. 30. A year ago its profits in the quarter had equaled $85.9 million, or $1.87 a share.

Revenues grew to $651.8 million in the quarter, compared with $632 million a year ago.

DST has been selling assets that it says are not involved in its business operations. Ignoring those gains and other one-time items, the company said its profits in the third quarter would have equaled $52.8 million, up from $44.1 million a year earlier.

During the recent quarter, DST sold 700,000 of its shares in Boston-based State Street Corp., which operates business ventures with DST. It owned 8.6 million State Street shares at the end of June. The sale brought $47.9 million in gains before taxes. Other gains, including from real estate sales, pushed the total to $110.3 million before taxes during the quarter.

DST, which provides financial and other services, said it added a new customer in its customer communications business. The client, whom DST did not name, will require 350 million mailings to its customers, which would amount to 12 percent of the total customer mailings DST prepared last year.