The stock market was having a mildly strong day on Monday, with all three major market indices up by 0.5% or less as of 2:30 p.m. EST. But Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) was a big standout, with shares of the asset management firm higher by more than 14%.
The company reported its fourth-quarter earnings, and the results were significantly better than investors had expected.
Starting with the headline numbers, Affiliated Managers Group handily surpassed expectations on both the top and bottom lines. While earnings of $4.22 per share represented a decline from the same period in 2019, it was about 14% higher than analysts had been looking for. And revenue of $554.4 million came in more than $40 million higher than estimates.
The company's adjusted EBITDA grew by 27% year over year, and although assets under management declined slightly, fee income ticked higher by 2.4%.
Affiliated Managers Group also reported that it repurchased 10% of its outstanding shares in 2020, a pretty aggressive buyback rate. And the majority of the repurchases took place in the fourth quarter.
2020 was a rough year for the asset management business and the entire financial sector as a whole, but 2021 is shaping up to be much stronger. It appears that Affiliated Managers Group got through the tough times in decent shape and is in a good position to move forward in 2021.