BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager, said third-quarter profit increased 14% as assets rose on investor deposits into its stock exchange-traded funds and active bond products.
Net income rose to $730 million, or $4.21 a share, from $642 million, or $3.65, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. BlackRock gathered $25 billion into its products in the quarter.
Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink, 60, has reorganized BlackRock’s businesses as he seeks to revive investor deposits into active products and attract more individual investors to passive ETFs. The division that manages active bonds, revamped last year to give more accountability to unit heads Rick Rieder and Kevin Holt, attracted $7.2 billion -- the most in almost four years. The iShares ETF unit, which opened new equity products last year with lower fees, gathered $21.1 billion into stock funds in the quarter.
“Long-term flows remain positive,” Daniel Fannon, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in San Francisco, said today in a note to clients.
BlackRock gained 3% to $290.83 at 10:59 a.m. in New York. The shares rose 37% this year through yesterday, compared with the 29% increase in the 20-member Standard & Poor’s index of asset managers and custody banks.
Excluding certain items, adjusted earnings of $3.88 a share matched the average estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The firm acquired Barclays Global Investors in December 2009 to expand into passive investments. It offers actively managed stock and bond funds; is the largest provider of ETFs through its iShares unit; and runs portfolios that use mathematical models.
Fink has said BlackRock has the potential to increase its assets by about 5% annually by developing new ETFs and expanding its reach among individuals. BlackRock’s assets increased 6.2% to $4.1 trillion during the quarter.
Money managers such as BlackRock, which earn fees based on the assets they manage for clients, traditionally benefit from rising stock markets and investor deposits into higher-fee active funds. The MSCI All Country World Index of global stocks rose 7.4% in the third quarter.
BlackRock’s revenue rose 6.6% to $2.5 billion, driven by an increase in the advisory fees the firm earns for overseeing client money. Expenses rose 4.2% to $1.5 billion.
Investors pulled $1.5 billion from BlackRock’s fixed-income ETFs, and removed $5.1 billion from actively managed stock funds.
Fink said today during a conference call with investors that he is pleased with the performance of BlackRock’s active equity products, and that the “idiosyncratic” withdrawals were a result of international uncertainty in the markets. Deposits into active fixed-income products were fueled by BlackRock’s performance and the fact that institutional clients had more cash on hand to invest, Fink said.
As BlackRock has sought to improve deposits into active stock funds, Chris Leavy, chief investment officer of BlackRock’s fundamental equity unit in the Americas, replaced portfolio managers at strategies that represented about 40% of the division’s $115 billion. Leavy is currently on medical leave.
In March, BlackRock enhanced its partnership with Boston- based Fidelity Investments to sell more ETFs directly to individual investors. Fink said today that the relationship will help stabilize quarterly investor deposits.
Fink said during a telephone interview today he thinks the U.S. will avert a default by the end of the month, yet the debate is dissuading foreign investors from buying U.S. securities.
“Do I believe there will be some resolution and that we don’t default? The answer is still yes,” Fink said.
ETFs have been the fastest-growing segment of the asset- management business, benefiting firms such as BlackRock, Vanguard Group Inc. and State Street Corp. In the 12 months ended Aug. 31, ETF assets in the U.S. increased 21% to $1.47 trillion, according to data from the Washington-based Investment Company Institute, the fund industry trade group.
Investors pulled about $60 billion from U.S. bond funds during the third quarter, according to estimates from the ICI amid concern that the Federal Reserve may reduce its bond purchases. BlackRock had about one-third of its assets in fixed income as of Sept. 30.