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Instant Analysis: BlackRock Misses on Q4 EPS but Raises Dividend

By Eric Volkman - Jan 21, 2016 at 5:20PM

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The giant asset manager doesn't blow the market away with its results, but some of its figures are encouraging -- not least a hike in payout.

What happened?
The world's largest asset manager, BlackRock (BLK 3.18%), has weighed in with its latest quarterly and annual results. For its Q4, revenue rose by 3% on a year-over-year basis to $2.86 billion, with net income advancing 6% to $861 million. On an adjusted basis, bottom line came in at $801 million ($4.75 per diluted share), down 2% from the Q4 2014 tally.

Revenue slightly beat analyst estimates, while adjusted per-share earnings fell short of the average projection of $4.80.

For the entirety of fiscal 2015, BlackRock's top line rose 3% over 2014's result, landing at $11.4 billion. Adjusted net profit of $3.3 billion ($19.60) was basically flat compared to last year's number.

At the end of the year, total assets under management amounted to $4.6 trillion, marginally lower than at the close of 2014.

BlackRock also lifted its quarterly dividend. The company will pay $2.29 per share on March 23, to stockholders of record as of March 7.

Does it matter?
All told, 2015 saw U.S markets trade more or less sideways over the course of the year. So it's little wonder a company like BlackRock, which does a great deal of its business managing funds that track various indexes and exchanges, would also see limited growth.

Still, there are things to like in these sets of figures. For example, overall net flows (money coming into the assets BlackRock manages, minus the money flowing out of them) were strongly positive, at almost $54 million in Q4 -- this despite unexceptional performance from the markets. This bodes well for the company, as it tries to weather the recent turmoil in equities trading.

Meanwhile, BlackRock's payout is quite high, on a yield basis, for the financial industry. The increased amount yields a sturdy 3.1%, which is also well above the current average of stocks on the S&P 500 index.

Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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