Morningstar reported third-quarter earnings of $19.3 million, or 39 cents a share, down 3.7% from $20 million, or 41 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2007.

Revenue held steady at $119.3 million, up from $118.1 million. “We grew in the quarter but just barely,” CEO Joe Mansueto told Reuters. He blamed the economy and financial markets for the lackluster performance. About 13% of Morningstar’s revenue is tied to asset-based fees, which declined 32% to $66 billion of assets under advisement, Mansueto said.

In addition, he said, “Our key customers were hit hard, and as budgets are reined in, that affects us, too.”

So far, Morningstar has not laid off any employees, but, like everyone else in the financial services industry, the firm is taking such cost-cutting measures as suspending 401(k) matches, trimming bonuses and doing away with raises. The company’s balance sheet is strong and includes no bank debt, Mansueto said.

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