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BlackRock 4Q Beats as Fees Grow, Declares 12% Dividend Increase

Blackrock Building


BlackRock (BLK) reported a fourth-quarter beat on both the top and bottom lines on Thursday as fees continued to grow and assets under management climbed to a record high.

The company’s board also declared a 12% quarterly dividend increase to $1.68 and an expansion of 7.5 million shares to an earlier buyback program.

"We remain committed to returning cash to our shareholders," BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in a statement.

During the fourth quarter, BlackRock booked net income of $690 million, or $3.93 a share, up 24% from $555 million, or $3.05.

Excluding one-time items, it earned $3.96, topping average analyst estimates of $3.73 in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three-month period climbed 14% to $2.54 billion from $2.23 billion a year ago, led by stronger base and higher performance fees. The results topped the Street’s view of $2.49 billion. Assets under management grew 8% to a record $3.79 trillion.

Shares of BlackRock climbed nearly 4% to $230.45 early Thursday.

“BlackRock’s financial performance in 2012 was strong by any measure,” Fink said. “We improved investment performance in key areas and our work with clients was rewarded with $107.7 billion of long-term net new business.”

As the investment manager enters fiscal 2013, Fink said the improving global economy provides a potential for greater market stability.

However he said the current political and regulatory landscape, persistent low rates and high volatility will continue to remain key factors.  

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton