SEI Investments said Thursday second-quarter net income dropped 4.2% citing lower trading volume, a decline in revenue, and a loss on investments.

The Oaks, Penn.-based asset manager posted net income of $34.3 million, or 32 cents a share, down from the $35.8 million, or 31 cents a share it earned in the year-ago period. Earnings for the quarter included a $4.1 million loss on investments. Wall Street analysts, on average, were expecting the company to earn 32 cents a share, according to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call.

Total revenue for the quarter declined 3% to $153.5 million from $158.9 million last year due to heavy losses sustained by its private banking and trust and investment advisor businesses. AnalystsÂ’ consensus estimate called for revenue of $153.7. The company also bought back 672,400 shares in the second quarter.

Operating loss on investments in new businesses widened by 55% to $5.2 million from $3.3 million last year. Back in April, the company said it would accelerate its investments in strategic new business initiatives in the second quarter. The firm indicated it didn't want to jeopardize the potential high future payoff from these investments for the sake of short-term profits.

Looking forward, SEI said it is "guardedly optimistic" because it sees signs of improvement in the business climate. Specifically, the company noted investors are putting money back into the capital markets and businesses are starting to make infrastructure investment decisions.

Analysts are currently projecting third-quarter earnings to come in at 34 cents a share, a 15% decline from its year-ago mark of 40 cents a share.

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