Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) today reported second quarter 2012 net income from continuing operations attributable to Ameriprise Financial of $224 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared to $319 million, or $1.27 per diluted share, a year ago. Second quarter 2012 operating earnings were $254 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to $333 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, a year ago. Results in the quarter included $57 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, of unfavorable items, including a $40 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, unfavorable impact from an unusual tax-related item primarily related to prior periods. In addition, the year-ago period included an $18 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, after-tax gain from an interest rate hedge.
Second quarter 2012 operating net revenues were $2.5 billion, a 3 percent decline from a year ago, primarily due to lower net investment income from continued low interest rates and volatile equity markets. These market-driven impacts were partially offset by growth in fee-based revenues driven by Ameriprise advisor client net inflows.
Second quarter 2012 operating expenses were $2.1 billion, down 1 percent from a year ago. Operating general and administrative expenses improved from a year ago reflecting ongoing expense control initiatives and continued investments in the business.
The company maintains a strong financial foundation and continues to generate free cash flow. During the quarter, the company returned $428 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.Return on shareholders’ equity excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) was 12.3 percent for the 12 months ended June 30, 2012. Operating return on equity excluding AOCI was 15.2 percent, compared to 15.5 percent a year ago. "Our business results were solid considering the difficult markets during the quarter," said Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and chief executive officer. "We experienced good advisor client and asset growth with strong net inflows in our fee-based products. In Asset Management, we completed the Columbia Management integration and now have a strong global asset management platform.