Waddell & Reed earned $33.3 million, or 39 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, an impressive turnaround from the $730,000, or 1 cent a share, it lost in the last quarter of 2008.

Total operating revenue reached $244.8 million, a 28.2% increase from the $191 million in the prior-year period, fueled by a 47% increase in assets under management to $69.8 billion, up from $47.5 billion a year prior. Redemptions of long-term assets fell to 16.6%, down from 37.7% a year ago, Waddell & Reed said.

“Despite the many challenges of 2009, our business model proved its resilience,” said Chief Executive Officer Hank Herrmann. “Our sales volume recovered rapidly. Redemption levels are well below our peers. Our asset recovery was among the best in the industry, and by year-end, had returned to its all-time high of $70 billion, reached in June 2008.”

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