BlackRock profits beat forecasts as investors race to low-cost funds


By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), the world’s biggest asset manager, reported better-than-expected quarterly profits on Friday as it clamped down on expenses and investors stormed into lower-cost funds to take advantage of a year-end rally.

Investors poured $88 billion into the company’s market-tracking index investments and its iShares exchange-traded funds during the quarter, while pulling $546 million from funds managed actively by portfolio managers, underscoring the stark dichotomy of investors favoring lower-cost investments.

The New York-based company’s net income fell to $851 million in the fourth quarter from $861 million a year earlier. Earnings per share, however, rose to $5.13, from $5.11, as the number of shares outstanding decreased.

Yet after adjusting to remove the effect of tax adjustments that it said do not impact the company’s cash, earnings were $5.14 per share. Analysts on average had expected…

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