Legg Mason earnings rise 30 percent amid drop in assets managed

Legg Mason reported Wednesday that its earnings surged 30 percent in its most recent quarter even as its assets under management dropped.

The money management firm based in Baltimore said it earned $66.1 million in the three months ended June 30, the first quarter of its fiscal year, up from $50.9 million in same quarter last year.

Earnings per share were 75 cents for the quarter, compared to 52 cents a year earlier.

"Legg Mason's quarterly results again highlight the diversity and resilience of our affiliate portfolio and the breadth of our investment vehicles, distribution channels and global footprint,” said Joseph A. Sullivan, its chairman and CEO.

While its quarterly profit rose, Legg Mason reported that its assets under management dropped by $9.5 billion during the quarter to $744.6 billion as of June 30. The drop was driven by $6.5 billion in negative foreign exchange and $2.9 billion in liquidity outflows among other factors.

The company’s quarterly revenue fell 5.8 percent to $747.9 million.

The quarter included a one-time $4 million charge to cover costs associated with the company’s $71 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that employees at subsidiary Permal Group violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in their dealings with Libyan officials. The law prohibits bribes of foreign officials to obtain business. Legg Mason set aside $67 million earlier for the settlement.

Legg acquired Permal in 2005. In May 2016, it merged the hedge fund platform with New York-city based Enrust Capital, investing about $400 million in the hedge fund manager to create EnTrustPermal.

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