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McGraw Hill profit beats estimates as S&P shines

(Reuters) - Standard & Poor's owner, McGraw Hill Financial Inc , reported a higher-than-expected 56 percent jump in quarterly profit due to strong growth at the rating agency and S&P Dow Jones indices.

The company, which also raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast, said net income from continuing operations jumped to $235 million, or 84 cents per share, in the third quarter from $151 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

The rise comes as the company is fighting a $5 billion U.S. government lawsuit that accuses Standard & Poor's of misleading investors by inflating credit ratings on risky mortgage-backed securities before the housing crash.

The company, whose rivals include Moody's Corp's , Moody's Investors Service and Fimalac SA's Fitch Ratings, raised its 2013 outlook to an adjusted profit of $3.25 to $3.30 per share from $3.15-$3.25.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 80 cents per share from continuing operations in the quarter ended September 30.

Total revenue rose 7 percent to $1.19 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 77 cents per share on revenue of $1.17 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue from the company's commercial and commodities businesses, which include the Platts brand, rose 7 percent to $255 million. Revenue from its S&P Dow Jones indices grew 14 percent to $124 million.

Revenue at S&P Ratings increased 8 percent to $540 million, driven by an increase in bank loan ratings.

The 125-year old company's shares, which have risen about 19 percent in the last three months, closed at $69.79 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

(Reporting by Neha Dimri and Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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