Janus’ second-quarter earnings jumped 57% to $48.8 million, or 27 cents a share, up from $31.1 million, or 15 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2006, Reuters reports. This beat analysts’ forecast of 24 cents a share.

More importantly, the firm experienced the first quarterly net inflows to its funds in six years, and it announced a $500 million share buyback plan. Assets rose to $190.6 billion from $153.4 billion in the second quarter a year earlier.

“Things are really starting to improve at Janus. It was a good quarter,” said Fox-Pitt, Kelton Analyst Roger Smith.

Nonetheless, shares of Janus, which has been the best performer in the S&P Asset Management and Custody Banks Index so far this year, rising 37.4% through Wednesday, fell 1.4% after the earnings were announced.

“People are getting more nervous with overall market expectations,” Smith said.

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