BlackRock profit misses as investors opt out of expensive funds

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(Reuters) - BlackRock Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as market volatility towards the end of 2018 prompted investors to pull out money from the world's biggest asset manager's actively managed funds.

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They pulled out $34.6 billion from the company's more actively traded and higher cost institutional equity index accounts and focused more on low-risk, low-cost exchange traded funds.

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BlackRock ended the fourth quarter with $5.98 trillion in assets under management, down from $6.44 trillion in the preceding quarter.

Net income attributable to BlackRock fell to $927 million, or $5.78 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $2.30 billion, or $14.01 per share, a year earlier, when it took a one-time gain from changes in the U.S. tax law.

TickerSecurityLastChange%Chg
BLKBLACKROCK INC.435.60+1.71+0.39%

In the reported quarter, the company also took a $60 million charge related to job cuts last year.

Excluding the restructuring charges, the company earned $6.08 per share, compared with $6.19 per share, a year ago.

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Analysts on an average expected BlackRock to report $6.27 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)