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LPL Financial Boosts FAs, Sales

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LPL Financial said its first-quarter net income was $41.2 million, or $0.37 per share, down $7.8 million compared with net income of $49.0 million, or $0.43 per share, from a year earlier. Earnings after adjustments, including a $16.5 million charge related to the refinancing of senior secured credit facilities, were $63.2 million, or $0.56 per share, vs. $59.4 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2011.

The independent broker-dealer’s net revenue for the first quarter of 2012 increased 3.2% to $901.8 million, from $873.9 million in the prior year period. Equity analysts had expected earnings of $0.54 a share and sales of $890.5 million.

The company also said that the private-equity firms Hellman & Friedman and TPG Capital, which each own about 31% of LPL, are selling a total of 14.5 million shares. This secondary offering represents about 14% of LPL’s total shares and should reduce each of the two private-equity stakes to about 24%.

Total advisory and brokerage assets (excluding assets in retirement plans and trusts) ended the period at $354.1 billion, a 7.3% increase from a year ago and a jump of 7.2% from the previous quarter.

Net new advisory assets for the first quarter were $2.5 billion vs. $3.7 billion in the year-ago period and $1 billion in the earlier quarter. Advisory assets under management totaled $110.8 billion at quarter-end compared with $99.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and $101.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The total number of financial advisors stood at 12,962 as of March 31, reflecting the attrition of 146 advisors associated with the integration of UVEST, according to the company. A year ago, LPL had 12,554 affiliated reps, while in the fourth quarter of 2011 it had 12,847. In the most recent quarter, 115 reps joined LPL.

The company also says that assets under custody in the LPL Financial RIA platform grew 74.8% to $27.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012, encompassing 152 RIA firms, compared to $15.5 billion and 115 RIA firms a year ago.

The firm has also declared a special dividend and plans to initiate future payments of a regular quarterly dividend.


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