BlackRock sees jump in fourth quarter profit

City A.M. Reporter
BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, reported a big jump in fourth-quarter profit and revenue, topping analysts' estimates, aided by the global stock market rally.

With markets on an upswing, the $3.6 trillion investment unit for $15bn just over a year ago finally appears to be paying off for investors.

BlackRock attracted a net inflow of $23.9bn from clients in the quarter, excluding merger-related withdrawals. Its iShares exchange-traded fund unit grabbed $13.4bn. Withdrawals related to the merger totalled $38.7bn.

The results reflected solid investment performance and big inflows for iShares, Nomura analyst Glenn Schorr said. "The net new business pipeline is strong and BlackRock showed progress in the retail, defined contribution, and multi-asset spaces," Schorr said in an initial report on the earnings.

Anticipating improving results, the shares of New York-based BlackRock have gained 16 percent over the past three months, closing at $193.58 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. The biggest upsurge followed Fink's comments at a conference last month that fourth-quarter profits would be "very strong."

Still, the stock remains well below $226.74, its close on 1 December, 2009, when the deal for Barclays Global Investors was completed. In contrast to the stock's 15 percent decline since then, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index has gained 16 per cent.