BlackRock profit jumps on strong markets; shares gain

Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:34am EST
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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...

The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton