BlackRock earnings Q4 2018

BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts’ expectations on Wednesday.

BlackRock said its revenue totaled $3.434 billion, while analysts polled by Refinitiv expected sales to reach in at $3.516 billion. Those results reflect a 9 percent slump from the fourth quarter of 2017, when it reported sales of $3.764 billion. Revenue from BlackRock’s advisory, administration and lending business hit $2.8 billion.

The asset-management giant also posted adjusted earnings per share of $6.08, while analysts expected a profit of $6.27. BlackRock’s reported bottom line represents a 2 percent decline from the year-earlier period, when its posted a profit of $6.19 per share.

The company’s assets under management totaled $5.98 trillion at the end of the quarter, a 5 percent decline over the past 12 months. However, CEO Larry Fink told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday that since the end of the quarter, the company’s assets under management had inched back above $6 trillion.

The company board of directors approved a 5 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $3.30. The financial giant also saw record quarterly inflows of $81 billion in its iShares business as the high-growth exchange-traded fund segment continues to expand.

“BlackRock is well positioned to deliver the holistic portfolio solutions, technology services and strategic counsel that clients increasingly are seeking, especially in the face of meaningful headwinds for the asset management industry,” CEO Larry Fink said in the earnings press release. “We will continue to invest in our platform to ensure BlackRock is even better positioned to serve clients and consistently deliver long-term value to shareholders in the years ahead.”

The New York City-based asset manager returned $3.6 billion to shareholders in 2018, including $1.7 billion of full year share repurchases.

Still, the company’s stock is down 6.1 percent over the past three months and 27.8 percent over the past 12 months. The financial giant’s stock fell about 23 percent in 2018, underperforming the broader market. The S&P 500 fell 6.23 percent in 2018.

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