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Ameriprise Financial Shares Rise On Higher Q1 Profit, Dividend Increase

Shares of Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP) gained more than 10 percent in extended trade on Monday after the company reported a 1.2 percent increase in profit for the first quarter on higher revenues, and hiked its quarterly dividend by 25 percent.

The increase in profit reflects growth in asset-based fees from retail client net inflows and market appreciation that was largely offset by a decline in net investment income from low interest rates.

Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and chief executive officer of Ameriprise Financial said, "We had a solid quarter, generating good earnings and fee-based business growth, which helped to offset the negative interest rate environment. Our results reflect the benefits of our diversified business model and the strength of our balance sheet."

As at the end of the first quarter, Ameriprise Financial's total assets under management and administration were $675 billion, up 1 percent from a year ago and up 7 percent sequentially. The increase was driven by retail client net inflows and market appreciation.

The company announced a 25 percent, or $0.07 per share, increase to its regular quarterly dividend to $0.35 per share. Over the past 12 months, the company has declared three quarterly dividend increases, which in total increased the regular quarterly dividend by 94 percent.

The company's first-quarter net income was $244 million or $1.05 per share, up from $241 million or $0.94 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Operating earnings declined to $335 million from $344 million in the year-ago period a higher tax rate as well as the negative impact of low interest rates. However, earnings per share rose to $1.45 from $1.33 on lower number of shares outstanding.

On average, twelve analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.40 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total net revenues for the quarter rose 1.19 percent to $2.56 billion from $2.53 billion in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $2.63 billion.

AMP closed Monday's trading at $52.84, down $0.61 or 1.14 percent on a volume of 2.11 million shares. However, in after-hours, the stock gained $5.53 or 10.47 percent to $58.37.

by RTT Staff Writer

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