NEW YORK: BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, said on Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose 24 per cent as investors moving into equities increased demand for its iShares family of exchange-traded funds.
Net income at New York-based BlackRock totaled $690 million, or $3.93 per share, compared with $555 million, or $3.05 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, expected BlackRock to earn $3.73 per share, excluding certain items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. On that basis, BlackRock earned $3.96.
As the largest manager of ETFs, BlackRock benefited from growing investor desire to use the low-cost, index-based funds instead of actively managed funds that have tended to underperform the market in recent years.
Chief Executive Laurence Fink rolled out a new line of even cheaper “core” iShares ETFs in October to better compete with offerings from Vanguard Group and Charles Schwab Corporation.
Investors added a total of $47 billion to BlackRock’s long-term funds, including $31 billion into stocks, and another $14 billion to money market funds and short-term products.
Assets under management at BlackRock totaled $3.8 trillion at the end of December, up 3 per cent in the quarter and 8 per cent from a year earlier.
Shares of BlackRock have been on a tear of late, gaining almost 20 per cent since mid-November. The stock closed down $1.01, or 0.5 per cent, to $222.24 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.