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.
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.
"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.