It's no secret that investment companies get a large percentage of their income from the fees and expenses charged to customers. One company that seems to cut its investors a bit of slack, being a discount brokerage, is T. Rowe Price
Its first-quarter profit increased 22% to $94.3 million, or $0.69 per diluted share. Net revenue rose to a record $357.1 million, an increase of 16.8%. Investment advisory fees, which comprise the biggest component of revenue, increased 18% to $289.1 million. Not bad for a company that prides itself on providing low-cost investment choices for its investors.
The company also reported that assets under management rose 17% to a record $235.9 billion. Mutual fund assets under management are up $2.8 billion so far this year to $148.3 billion. Assets increased despite market value declines of $2.7 billion, thanks to investors contributing $5.5 billion. The company also managed to grow its operating cash by nearly 65% in the past year with no debt.
So, while I'd still rather see less growth resulting from fees (as this revenue band tends to fluctuate relative to market conditions), T. Rowe Price is doing pretty well overall. Its relatively low fees will continue to attract money to its funds. If it can continue to survive a difficult environment, it should do quite well long-term.
Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own shares of T. Rowe Price.