Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) today reported strong second quarter 2013 results. Net income (1) was $322 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, compared to $224 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, a year ago. Operating earnings were $352 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, compared to $254 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, a year ago.
Operating net revenues grew 9 percent to $2.7 billion, primarily driven by robust client net inflows, increased client activity and market appreciation, partially offset by the decline in net investment income from low interest rates.
Operating expenses increased 6 percent to $2.3 billion, primarily reflecting higher distribution costs from business growth. The company’s ongoing focus on expense discipline resulted in general and administrative expenses remaining flat compared to a year ago.
The company continues to return capital to shareholders while maintaining a strong financial foundation. In the quarter, a total of $488 million was returned to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. During the past four quarters, 134 percent of operating earnings was returned to shareholders.Return on shareholders’ equity excluding accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) was 15.5 percent for the 12 months ended June 30, 2013. Consistent with its strategy, the company has steadily expanded its return, with operating return on equity excluding AOCI reaching 17.9 percent at quarter end, a 270 basis point increase from a year ago. “Ameriprise delivered another quarter of strong financial results,” said Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and chief executive officer. “Revenues and earnings were up nicely; in fact, our operating return on equity reached an all-time high of 17.9 percent.” “All of our business segments performed well, most notably Advice and Wealth Management. We’re experiencing good growth in client acquisition and strong client net inflows, which are key drivers of advisor productivity gains. Even with the pressure of low interest rates, we’re delivering meaningful growth in profitability.