The million-dollar question of how much Putnam Investments paid to the SEC and other regulators in its settlement was answered last week - and it turned out to be a $24 million question.

Putnam paid $24 million in restitution, legal and other costs, parent company Marsh & McClennan Cos. revealed last Wednesday. The company also bled $53.7 billion in net outflows in the fourth quarter of the year. By the end of the quarter, the company in the epicenter of Eliot Spitzer's original maelstrom against the fund industry, had $240 billion in assets under management.

Still, net income, supported in large part by MMC's insurance units, reached $378 million, or 70 cents a share, up 21% from $312 million, or 47 cents a share, from the year-earlier period. The company beat the 65 cents a share consensus estimate of Thomson First Call, sister company to Thomson Media, publisher of this newsletter.

While Putnam's "reputation has been damaged in the near term," PNC Advisers analyst Nicholas Xie told Bloomberg News, "they still have a decent franchise. Maybe the worst is over."

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