Franklin Resources, parent company of the Franklin and Templeton mutual funds, announced Thursday that corporate earnings more than doubled in the fourth quarter, citing a ramp-up in equity fund flows that generated higher fees.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company posted a net profit of $152.1 million, or 61 cents a share, up from the $68.5 million, or 26 cents a share, from the year-ago period. Income for the year-ago period includes a pre-tax, non-cash charge of 17 cents a share for an unrealized investment loss. Wall Street analysts, on average, were expecting the company to earn 56 cents a share, according to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call, sister company of Thomson Media, publisher of this Web site.

Revenue for the quarter increased to $722 million from $608.3 million a year ago, ahead of the $710.4 million consensus estimate, as Franklin garnered higher fees from investment management, underwriting and distribution and shareholder services. International funds turned in particularly strong performance, the company said.

Equity assets now comprise 51% of total assets under management by Franklin’s subsidiaries, as compared to 50% the previous quarter and 48% as of Sept. 30, 2002. Fixed-income assets have declined to 32% from 33% last quarter and 35% a year earlier. Sales exceeded redemptions by $4.4 billion for the current quarter compared to $6.0 billion for the prior quarter and $2.5 billion for the comparable quarter a year ago.

Assets under management as of Sept. 30, were $301.9 billion, as compared to $287 billion in the previous quarter and $247.8 billion a year earlier.

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