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Money Management

BlackRock assets surpass $6 trillion; long-term inflows nearly $81 billion for quarter

BlackRock (BLK) reported $6.288 trillion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, up 5% from the previous quarter and up 22% from a year earlier, the firm said in its earnings statement released Friday.

Net inflows to the firm's long-term strategies were $80.6 billion, compared to net inflows of $75.8 billion in the third quarter and net inflows of $87.8 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

The inflows were driven by $43 billion going to fixed income, $35.8 billion to equities and $4.9 billion to multiasset strategies. That were partially offset by $3.1 billion of net outflows from alternatives.

BlackRock's institutional business experienced long-term net inflows of $14.4 billion for the fourth quarter, compared to net inflows of $16.1 billion for the third quarter and net inflows of $40.9 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016. Assets in BlackRock's institutional business were $3.5 trillion as of Dec. 31, up 6.1% from Sept. 30 and up 20.3% from Dec. 31, 2016.

BlackRock's iShares exchange-traded fund business saw long-term net inflows of $54.8 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to net inflows of $52.3 billion in the third quarter and net inflows of $49.3 billion in the year-earlier quarter. iShares assets totaled $1.75 trillion as of Dec. 31, up 6.7% from Sept. 30 and up 35.7% from Dec. 31, 2016.

BlackRock's global retail business saw long-term net inflows of $11.4 billion for the quarter, vs. net inflows of $7.4 billion in the prior quarter and net outflows of $2.4 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016.

The firm's revenue was $3.47 billion in the fourth quarter, up 7% from the previous quarter and up 20% from the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income was $2.3 billion, up from $947 million during the prior quarter and $851 million during the same period a year ago.

"Given the tax reform is basically three weeks old, our plan is to effectively reassess our latest capital management recommendations, probably around midyear, once we kind of finalize the impact the tax reform is going to have on BlackRock, and there's going to be lots of additional guidance that's going to be forthcoming, as well as making sure that we are looking at all of the balance sheet ... opportunities that we have over the next several months, including more aggressively seeding and co-investing in new products," said Gary S. Shedlin, chief investment officer, on the earnings call.