T. Rowe Price reported that its fourth-quarter profit fell 87% to $24.3 million, or 9 cents a share, from $190.7 million, or 68 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

This fell substantially lower than analysts’ consensus of 24 cents a share.

Revenue fell 30% to $416 million in the quarter from $598 million a year earlier, advisory fees fell 35% to $330 million, and assets under management declined by 31% to $276.3 billion. Investors redeemed $2.2 billion from T. Rowe Price’s mutual funds in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, T. Rowe’s earnings were $490.8 million, or $1.82 a share, down 27% from $670.6 million, or $2.40 a share, in 2007.

“While T. Rowe Price was able to limit our clients’ exposure to the problems in the subprime mortgage market that began the downturn,” said the firm’s President and CEO James A.C. Kennedy, “neither we nor our clients could escape the severe downturn in global financial markets. At some point, better economic news and a return to normal functioning of credit markets will restore investor confidence, and financial markets will respond accordingly.”

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