BlackRock's AUM rises 8% in 2012; iShares' ETF assets up 26%

Larry Fink 175px
BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink

BlackRock (BLK) on Thursday reported record assets under management of $3.792 trillion as of Dec. 31, up 3% from the prior quarter and 8% higher than the end of 2011, according to the company's earnings statement.

Net inflows to BlackRock's long-term strategies were $47 billion for the latest quarter. That total reflected inflows of $31.2 billion to equity, $12.4 billion to fixed income and $4.1 billion to multiasset strategies. Alternatives strategies had net outflows of $700 million.

Assets in BlackRock's iShares ETF business totaled $752.7 billion in the latest quarter, up 6.6% from the third quarter and 26% above a year earlier.

BlackRock reported fourth-quarter net inflows of $35.7 billion for all its iShares strategies, with about $30 billion into its equity products, $4.5 billion into fixed income and $1.1 billion into alternatives.

For the latest quarter, BlackRock (BLK) reported net income of $690 million, a 7% increase from three months earlier and 24% above Dec. 31, 2011.

Revenue, meanwhile, came to $2.539 billion, up 9% for the quarter and 14% from 12 months earlier.

Laurence D. Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, said in an earnings call with analysts Thursday, “We ended up the highest AUM ever at $3.8 trillion. But more importantly, this was not just in one product area. Our AUM levels reached the highest levels in institutional, retail and iShares.

“Our equity in multiasset product classes are each at the highest AUM levels in history,” Mr. Fink said. “This quarter we cross over $1 trillion in institutional indexed products. In EMEA, we saw client AUM also at its highest level, now making up over 30% of our total AUM.”

In reports issued after the release of the earnings statement, William Katz, director and analyst at Citi Research, and Daniel Fannon, analyst at Jefferies & Co., wrote that BlackRock's AUM and long-term inflows were greater than their forecast.

“We generated record full-year (earnings per share) of $13.68; that's up 15% compared to 2011, reflecting a 5% increase in operating earnings,” Ann M. Petach, senior managing director and CFO, said in the earnings call. “Record quarterly earnings per share of $3.96 were up 29% compared to a year ago and that's supported by a 24% increase in operating income, and up 14% compared to the third quarter, and that's supported by a 19% increase in operating earnings.”