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T. Rowe Price reports $206.8 million profit for second quarter

T. Rowe Price Group said earnings rose to $206.8 million for the second quarter on record revenue of $736.8 million, results that fell below analysts' expectations and sent the company's shares tumbling Wednesday.

On a per-share basis, the Baltimore-based investment company earned 79 cents.

For the second quarter last year, Price earned $204.7 million, or 76 cents per share, on revenue totaling $713.7 million.

Earnings came slightly under analysts' averaged expectations of 80.6 cents per share, according to Bloomberg. Price's shares fell $1.71 Wednesday to close at $58.97 per share.

Assets under management at the end of June reached $541.7 billion, down $13.1 billion from a record high in the first quarter.

Net cash inflows — new investments minus withdrawals — totaled $4.7 billion in the quarter but weren't enough to make up for the $17.8 billion in market losses.

Chief Executive James A. C. Kennedy says the U.S. market was flat for the quarter, while markets overseas have been hammered by uncertainty over the financial crisis in Europe as well as concerns about the slowdown of China's economy.

Compounding the problems overseas, Kennedy said, are doubts that American legislators are willing to put politics aside, particularly with an election looming, to address U.S. fiscal issues.

Still, Kennedy said of his firm, "We have outstanding investment teams that continue to perform very well for the clients."

He noted that 85 percent of Price mutual funds outperformed Lipper benchmarks over a five-year period.

"That's a phenomenal number," Kennedy said.

Christopher Shutler, an analyst with William Blair & Co. in Chicago, said despite revenue and earnings coming in slightly below expectations, net inflows — an important metric for investors in financial institutions — will set Price apart from its peers.

"They added $4.7 billion of assets in the quarter, which is going to stand out in contrast with most other asset managers," which will likely post outflows for the quarter, Shutler said. William Blair makes a market in the stock and may hold shares.

Price also reported that assets under management in its target-date portfolios, which grow more conservative as investors approach retirement, reached $79 billion at the end of June, compared with $68 billion the year before.

Operating expenses rose by $21.7 million in the second quarter from the previous year to $408.8 million. That's largely due to a rise in compensation and other costs related to new hiring. Price, which increased its number of employees by 2.3 percent over a year ago, employed 5,265 people at the end of June.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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