Ameriprise reports higher fourth-quarter earnings despite market drop

Growth in advice business offset lower revenue from asset management

Jan 31, 2019 @ 1:55 pm

By InvestmentNews

Despite December's sinking stock market, Ameriprise Financial Inc. reported fourth quarter 2018 net income of $539 million, or $3.76 per diluted share, up from $177 million, or $1.15 a share, in the same period a year ago. Net revenue was nearly flat at $3.2 billion.

(More:Ameriprise to switch CRM for nearly 10,000 advisers in 2019)

Adjusting for the effect of the federal tax reforms in the fourth quarter of 2017 and other items, the company's adjusted earnings rose 12% to $544 million, or $3.80 per share — a 21% increase from adjusted earnings per share of $3.15 in the fourth quarter last year.

The company said that net revenues of $3.2 billion reflected growth in its advice and wealth management business, which was offset by lower revenue from asset management. Its expenses of $2.5 billion decreased 2%, or $58 million, from a year ago.

Analysts covering the Minneapolis-based company expected it to report fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.58 per share, on revenue of $3.18 billion.

(More:As Ameriprise case shows, firms on hook when brokers go bad) ?

"For the year, we returned more than $2 billion to shareholders through an increased dividend and repurchase of 11 million shares while maintaining our balance-sheet strength," said Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and chief executive officer.

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