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BlackRock Inc BLK
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/17/2013

Operator: Good morning. My name is Virginia and I will be your conference facilitator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the BlackRock Incorporated Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Earnings Teleconference.

Our host for today's call will be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Laurence D. Fink; Chief Financial Officer, Ann Marie Petach; and General Counsel, Matthew Mallow. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period. Thank you.

Mr. Mallow, you may begin your conference.

Matthew Mallow - Senior Managing Director and General Counsel: Thank you operator. Good morning everyone. This is Matt Mallow. Before Larry and Ann Marie make their remarks as I do with each of these calls let me point out to you that during the course of this call, we may make a number of forward-looking statements. We call your attention to the fact that our actual results may differ from these statements.

As you all know, BlackRock has filed reports with the SEC, which list some of the factors which may cause the results of BlackRock to differ materially from what said today. Finally, BlackRock assumes no duty and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.

With that, I'll get out of the way and turn it over to Ann Marie.

Ann Marie Petach - Senior Managing Director and CFO: Thanks, Matt. Good morning, everyone. I am going to provide some brief comments. I'll point out a few highlights in the earnings supplement, and as usual I am going to be discussing primarily as adjusted results.

Overall, 2012 was a very good year for BlackRock's clients, shareholders and employees and we are entering 2013 with great momentum. We generated record full year EPS of $13.68, that's up 15% compared to 2011 reflecting a 5% increase in operating earnings and 3% increase in revenue compared to a year ago.

Record quarterly earnings per share of $3.96 were up 29% compared to a year ago, and that's supported by a 24% increase in operating income and up 14% compared to the third quarter and that's supported by a 19% increase in operating earnings.

The fourth quarter operating margin was 42.6% and the full year margin was 40.4%. This reflects cost discipline, strong investment performance and a trend of continuous improvement. The full year margin was up 0.7 point from 2011 and up 2.2 percentage point since 2009 when we acquired BGI, and even more than that when you compare it to the pro forma combined margin. All that data is on Slide 4 of the supplement. Most importantly, fourth quarter earnings reflected strong revenue growth and positive momentum in net new business across each of our channels. Improved investment performance and positive markets, these are important trends as we begin 2013.

In the fourth quarter, clients continue to re-risk with particularly strong flows into equities. We saw $31.2 billion into equities, primarily into ETFs and institutional index product. We also saw $12.4 billion of demand for fixed income products driven in part by retail investors who maintained their preference for income-oriented products. Defined contribution plan growth drove flows into multi-asset class products. We also saw demand for single strategy hedge funds and private equity fund of funds, while returning significant capital as we liquidated our PPIP fund after generating a 23.5% return.

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