BlackRock Inc. Earnings: Streak of Four Straight Profit Rises Snapped

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) reported its results for the fourth quarter. BlackRock, along with its subsidiaries, provides investment management services to institutional clients and to individual investors through various investment vehicles.

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BlackRock Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Net income for the investment brokerage fell to $555 million ($3.05 per share) vs. $657 million ($3.35 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 15.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Revenue was $2.23 billion last quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: BLK reported adjusted net income of $3.06 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $3.01 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.24 billion.

Quoting Management: “We finished 2011 with solid annual revenue and earnings growth despite challenging market conditions, particularly in the second half of the year,” said Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock. “Our results reinforce the underlying strength and momentum of our diversified client-focused model. Our mix of businesses, together with unparalleled risk management capabilities and a sharp focus on execution, have allowed us to deliver strong results through highly challenging market cycles. This momentum was reflected in the fourth quarter as we generated net inflows of $23.8 billion in long term net new business. In addition, with the investments made over the course of 2011, we remain well positioned to execute against key themes driving our industry in the coming years.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit decrease breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. In the third quarter, net income rose 8% from the year earlier, while the figure increased 43.3% in the second quarter, 34.3% in the first quarter and more than twofold in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 9 cents in the third quarter, by 8 cents in the second quarter, and by 21 cents in the first quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved up from $2.83 a share to $2.92 over the last ninety days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $11.90 per share, falling from $11.97 thirty days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW), American Intl. Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG), Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ), UBS AG (NYSE:UBS), Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG), and Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN).

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at