BlackRock profit jumps on strong markets; shares gain
By Ashley Lau
(Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (BLK.N: Quote), the world's largest money manager, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, benefiting from strong markets and a flow of new money into its exchange-traded funds and retail business.
The New York-based asset manager ended the fourth quarter through December 31 with $4.3 trillion in assets, including new money and market gains, surpassing the $4 trillion mark for the first time last year.
That asset growth helped drive BlackRock's 24-percent gain in quarterly profit to $841 million, or $4.86 per share, up from $690 million, or $3.93 per share, a year earlier.
BlackRock and its peers make money by charging fees as a percentage of assets under management.
BlackRock shares jumped 4.2 percent in early trading to $325.98 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock surged 53 percent in 2013, riding an equity market rally that also boosted its peers.
The company said its board had approved a 15 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $1.93 per common share, payable in March.
Excluding long-term compensation expenses and other items, earnings were $4.92 a share, above analysts' average forecast of $4.33, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue grew 9 percent to $2.8 billion. Revenue generated by fees based on a portfolio's performance rose 2 percent to $268 million from a year earlier. Continued...