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T. Rowe Price earnings rise 29% in 2nd quarter

Assets under management reach record $520.9 billion

By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun

5:41 PM EDT, July 26, 2011

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T. Rowe Price Group, the Baltimore-based mutual fund and investment advisory company, reported Tuesday a profit of $204.7 million for the second quarter, a 29 percent increase over the corresponding period a year ago.

On a per-share basis, Price earned 76 cents, up from 59 cents a year earlier. The quarterly earnings are a penny off analysts' expectation of 77 cents per share, according to Bloomberg.

Revenue for the quarter reached $713.7 million, up from $577.4 million for the second quarter a year ago.

The company said that despite "choppy markets," money coming in from new clients pushed Price's assets under management to a record high. At the end of June, assets under management totaled $520.9 billion, an $11 billion increase from the end of the first quarter.

Net inflows to mutual funds in the quarter were $4.6 billion, with target-date retirement portfolios continuing to attract dollars. The target-date portfolios, which get more conservative as investors age, saw net inflows of $2.2 billion in the quarter.

With interest rates remaining low, Price said it waived $8.3 million in money market fund fees in the second quarter so investors would have a positive yield. A year earlier, Price waived $6.4 million in fees.

Operating expenses rose by $62.8 million from a year ago to $387.1 million, largely from compensation, employee benefits and temporary staffing. Price employed 5,162 workers companywide at the end of June, up 110 from the year before.

James A.C. Kennedy, Price's president and chief executive, said in an interview Tuesday that investors have a lot of uncertainty these days, partly due to the debt ceiling debate in Washington.

"Most people are just waiting for the politicians to finally make some decisions and attack the long-term deficit issues," he said. Kennedy added that he expected Washington to come up with a resolution to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline.

Price's stock rose 9 cents, to $60.06 per share, on Tuesday.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

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