BlackRock profit beats as exchange-traded funds boom

(Reuters) – BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), the world’s largest asset manager, beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as more money rolled into its cash management business and exchange-traded funds amid concerns of slowing global growth. The company attracted $128.84 billion in new money during the quarter, boosting total assets managed to $7.43 trillion, up from $5.98 trillion a year earlier. Investors preferred BlackRock’s low-fee passive-investment products over its actively managed funds. Its iShares-branded ETFs took in $75.20 billion of new money, up from $41.50 billion in the prior quarter. BlackRock’s cash management business, which deals with shorter-term liquid investments including money market funds, drew net inflows of $29.80 billion in the fourth quarter, taking total assets for the business to $545.95 billion. The company’s shares rose 1.3% in premarket trade. The New York-based company’s net income rose to $1.30 billion, or $8.29 per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31 from $927 million, or $5.78 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned $8.34 per share, while analysts had expected $7.69, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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