T. Rowe Price earnings rise as market rebounds

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. reported Wednesday morning that its earnings rose 13% in the quarter ended March 31 amid a turnaround in the markets.

The Baltimore-based money management firm said it made $512.6 million in the January-to-March period, up from $453.7 million a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 18% to $2.09 each in the latest quarter from $1.77 a year ago.

"The first quarter saw a strong recovery in the markets and investors partially returning from the sidelines after the volatility in December,” said William J. Stromberg, T. Rowe’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Against this backdrop, we continued to deliver solid investment performance and financial results.

“Strong recoveries in global stocks and bonds helped our assets under management grow to $1.082 trillion in the first quarter of 2019,” he added.

T. Rowe reported that revenue was essentially flat at nearly $1.33 billion.

The firm said its adjusted earnings per share — better reflecting the earnings of its core business — were $1.87 a share, which exceeded analysts consensus expectations compiled by Zack’s Investment Research of $1.63 a share.

T. Rowe shares closed up more than 2% at $109.76 each in Wednesday trading.

The company reported net inflows of $5.4 billion of new money from investors, which contributed to its increase in assets under management from $962 million as of Dec. 31.

In his remarks, Stromberg noted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave preliminary approval for the first “semi-transparent” exchange-traded fund, which he said could give investors access to active management strategies in the ETF format.

T. Rowe has reputation in active management and Stromberg said the company has applied to launch such a fund that would cloak investments, allowing active trading.

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