February 2, 2012

Q4 Earnings: Ameriprise Misses Estimates, but Boosts Head count

Net inflows of client assets for its 9,730 advisors were $1.35 billion in the fourth quarter

Ameriprise Financial (AMP) reported its fourth-quarter earnings late Wednesday, with net income falling for the second quarter in a row and missing expectations. The total number of advisors with the company, though, rose by 74 to 9,730, and net asset inflows for the advisors were $1.35 billion.

“Our advisory business generated excellent results for the year, highlighted by record advisor productivity and accelerating success in our experienced advisor recruiting program,” said Jim Cracchiolo (left), chairman and CEO.

The company said its fourth-quarter operating earnings were $312 million, or $1.33 per share, compared to $340 million, or $1.31 per share, a year ago. Net income from continuing operations was $240 million, or $1.02 per share, vs. $306 million, or $1.18 a share, a year ago.

Ameriprise said that its lackluster results mainly reflected lower revenues, which dropped 2% to $2.5 billion on “lower hedge fund performance fees, the continued low interest rate environment, and the impact of market volatility, partially offset by growth in asset-based fees from retail client net inflows.”

Wealth Management

Ameriprise said it now has 9,730 financial advisors, about 7,500 of which are in its franchise, independent channel. That represents an increase of 74 reps from last year’s fourth quarter and a boost of 16 from the third quarter of 2011.

Assets in the wealth-management unit are $310 billion, up from $304 billion last year and $293 billion in the previous quarter.

Net inflows of client assets were $1.35 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $1.74 billion in the year-ago period but up from $820 million in the earlier quarter.

Assets in wrap accounts are roughly $103.4 billion, a slight improvement both year over year and consecutively.

The unit’s overall revenue was $905 million in the quarter, up from $894 million last year and down from $938 million in the third quarter. Net income hit $79 million, however, a drop from both last year ($97 million) and last quarter ($114 million).  

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