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Jefferies Group Q4 net earnings down

Jefferies Group has reported a net earnings of $48.39m, or $0.21 diluted earnings per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $62.72m, or $0.31 diluted earnings per share, for the same period in 2010.

The total revenues were $798.74m for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $851.91m, for the same period a year ago.

Investment banking revenues were $261.3m, compared to $291.88m for the same period in the corresponding year.

Jefferies chairman and CEO Richard Handler said that they are proud of their 3,851 employee-partners who successfully navigated an extremely challenging fourth quarter that included continuing global volatility compounded by a November filled with a barrage of misinformation about Jefferies.

"Our firm responded by reducing their total balance sheet by nearly one quarter, decreasing their leverage to 9.9x from 12.9x, maintaining the already high quality of their inventory," added Handler.