Legg Mason earnings triple with new tax law, asset growth and fees

Legg Mason, the Baltimore-based investment management firm, reported Wednesday that its profit in the most recent quarter roughly tripled.

The company said it earned $149.2 million in its third fiscal quarter, ended Dec. 31, up from $51.4 million a year earlier. Per share earnings surged to $1.58 each from 50 cents.

The firm’s assets under management swelled 8 percent over the year to $767.2 billion as of Dec 31.

The quarterly results were shaped by some significant one-time items, including a $213.7 million tax benefit related the new federal tax law enacted by Congress in December and a $195 million write-off of intangible assets. It also attributed its earnings growth to higher assets under management and more fee income.

"Legg Mason's fiscal third quarter included strong core results driven by robust performance and advisory fees, and a keen focus on expense management,” said Joseph A. Sullivan, Legg’s chairman and CEO.

The earnings were announce after the market closed. Legg Mason shares were up a little more than $1 to $46.75 each in after hours trading.

cdinsmore@baltsun.com

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