Raymond James Financial said late Wednesday that its net income rose 61% in the fiscal fourth quarter to $69 million, or $0.55 a share vs. about $43 million, or $0.35 a share in the same year-ago period. Net sales were $747.9 million, 12% than 2009’s fiscal fourth quarter.
For the full fiscal year, net income $228.3 million, or $1.83 per share, a jump of 49% over fiscal 2009, as sales reached $2.92 billion. These results topped analysts’ expectations for both quarterly and annual earnings and sales.
“This year’s results are especially gratifying because they reflect our investment in people in anticipation of a recovery, combined with a strict cost control mandate during the tsunami in our financial system,” stated CEO Paul Reilly in a statement.
“We successfully recruited financial advisors, investment bankers, public finance professionals, institutional sales people and traders, while much of the financial services industry was in shock. Consequently, during the quarter we generated record net revenues of $748 million and outstanding net earnings of $69 million,” Reilly explained.
While Raymond James’ advisor force remains above 5,300 worldwide, it did slip by 51 advisors to 5,334 as of September 30, 2010, vs. 5,375 last year. On a quarterly basis, though, the company was down only 3 advisors from June 30.
The company’s recruiting pace is about a third of last year's, Chairman Tom James said during a conference call. This is due partly to retention plans that prevent many Wall Street advisors from leaving their firms, as well as Raymond James’ objective not to “break the bank” to lure recruits.
"[W]e have continued to recruit good broker, but the rate of recruitment is probably in the 35% ratio to last year’s activity levels because of all these high retention payments that were made during early this year and late last year that have really slow down the pace somewhat," said James.