Fixed income giant BlackRock, Inc. saw its profits rise 22% in its fiscal fourth quarter, up 11 cents a share from the same period last year, the company said Wednesday.
The assets under management of $309.4 billion at the end of 2003 puts BlackRock 13% higher than it was at the end of 2002, making it one of the top three U.S. fixed income firms.
To ensure stability, the company said it would hold a two-million-share stock buyback program to hold its New York Stock Exchange share price around the $56.25 it closed at Tuesday.
Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said the success of his company, which expected outflows at the beginning of 2003 and overcame some regulatory trouble, "can only be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our people."
BlackRock said results would have been even better had it not been for weakness in the dollar and the $4 million the company set aside to cover costs related to the investigation of improper trading at mutual funds.
For 2004, Fink said BlackRock expects full-year earnings to be in the range of $2.70 to $2.90, and first-quarter earnings between 66 cents to 68 cents.