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BlackRock First Quarter Results Slow Year-on-Year But Top Expectations as Assets Grow

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Investing giant BlackRock (BLK) reported declines in first-quarter results with revenue weighed down by fewer fees, but the outcome was still ahead of Wall Street’s expectations as inflows and assets under management grew.

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Revenue fell 7% to $3.35 billion, the company said on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were looking for $3.3 billion. Earnings per share on an adjusted basis slipped to $6.61 from $6.70 in the same period of last year, but better than the Street’s prediction for a decline to $6.13 a share.

Base fees decreased 5% year-on-year, reflecting the “impact of negative markets in the fourth quarter and continued dollar appreciation,” the New York-based firm said. Assets under management rose 3% to $6.52 trillion in the period.

“BlackRock’s broad investment platform generated $65 billion of total net inflows in the first quarter, representing 4% organic growth,” said Laurence Fink, chief executive of the firm. “BlackRock continues to build and evolve our organization, ahead of changing client needs, in order to drive strong investment performance, enhance the client experience and deliver long-term value for shareholders.”

Investment advisory, administration fees and securities lending revenue fell to $2.81 billion from $2.95 billion a year earlier. Investment advisory performance fees dropped to $26 million from $70 million, while technology services revenue rose to $204 million from $184 million as BlackRock grew momentum in its Aladdin operating system for investment managers.

Operating income decreased to $1.23 billion from $1.38 billion a year earlier, while the margin fell 220 basis points to 41.9% from 44.1% a year earlier. The company’s effective tax rate rose to 22.1% from 19.6% previously, BlackRock said.

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Retail assets under management rose to $646.4 billion by the end of March from $610.9 billion at the end of December. AUM in BlackRock’s iShares exchange-traded funds jumped to $1.92 trillion from $1.73 trillion at the end of 2018. Institutional AUM climbed to $3.49 trillion from $3.18 trillion previously.

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