T. Rowe Price reported a 27% drop in quarterly earnings, citing continued weakness in stock market valuations amid a grinding bear market.

The Baltimore-based investment management firm posted a first-quarter net profit of $38.8 million, or 31 cents a share, down from the $53 million, or 41 cents a share, it earned in the year-ago period. The results were ahead of Wall Street's expectations of 29 cents a share, according to a 12-analyst poll conducted by research firm Thomson Financial/First Call, parent company of the publisher of this newsletter.

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