Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) today reported third quarter 2012 net income from continuing operations attributable to Ameriprise Financial of $174 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, compared to $322 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, a year ago. Third quarter 2012 operating earnings were $289 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, compared to $289 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, a year ago.
Third quarter 2012 operating results included a previously announced $48 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, unfavorable impact from the company’s annual review of insurance and annuity valuation assumptions and modeling changes (unlocking). This non-cash expense in the quarter compared to an unfavorable impact of $9 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, a year ago.
Third quarter 2012 operating net revenues of $2.5 billion were unchanged from a year ago and included lower revenues from the impact of unlocking. Net revenues in the year ago quarter included additional investment income recognition. Adjusting for these two items, third quarter 2012 operating net revenues grew 3 percent driven by strong Ameriprise advisor client net inflows and market appreciation, partially offset by a decline in net investment income reflecting continued low short-term interest rates as well as outflows in asset management.
Third quarter 2012 operating expenses were unchanged at $2.1 billion, as higher distribution-related expenses offset lower deferred acquisition costs (DAC) amortization. Operating general and administrative expenses were essentially flat compared to a year ago as ongoing expense controls offset investments.The company maintains a strong financial foundation and continues to generate free cash flow. During the quarter, the company returned $416 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, and has $482 million remaining on its current share repurchase authorization. In addition, the Ameriprise Financial Board of Directors declared a $0.45 per common share quarterly cash dividend, a 29 percent increase, or $0.10 per share, and also authorized a new $2 billion share repurchase program through 2014.