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BlackRock Q1 Profit Rises On Asset Growth - Update

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BlackRock, Inc. (BLK: Quote), the world's largest asset manager, reported Wednesday a higher first-quarter profit as it managed more money than last year. Adjusted earnings and revenues exceeded analysts' expectations.

Renewed confidence in markets driven by stability returning in Europe and positive economic data in the U.S. led to BlackRock attracting significant inflows into its institutional index and ETP products. This was "highlighted by $18.2 billion in net flows in our global iShares platform in what is typically a seasonally weaker quarter" the company said.

Assets under management rose 1 percent to $3.68 trillion from last year. The growth was 5 percent since the end of 2011. The company noted that the growth in AUM also reflected market valuation gains and investment performance as well as acquisition of Claymore Investments, Inc.

Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO of the company said, "Our first quarter 2012 results are a strong testament to the power of BlackRock's diversified business model and history of innovation."

In the first quarter, net income attributable to the company increased to $572 million or $3.14 per share from $568 million or $2.89 per share in the previous year.

On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were $3.16, higher than $2.96 per share a year earlier. On average, 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $3.04 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenues for the quarter declined to $2.25 billion from $2.28 billion in the same quarter last year, but exceeded analysts' estimate of $2.23 billion.

Investment advisory, administration fees and securities lending revenues were $1.98 billion, flat with last year, as higher fees from majority of long-term asset classes and a $39 million increase in securities lending revenue were offset by lower fees from active equity and cash management products.

Net new business in long-term products totaled $25.7 billion, excluding the effect of a previously announced low-fee fixed income institutional index redemption of $36 billion from a single client, the company added.

BLK closed Tuesday's regular trading at $201.81 on the NYSE.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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