Northern Trust Corporation today reported fourth quarter net income per diluted common share of $0.70, up from $0.69 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and down from $0.84 in the third quarter of 2013. Net income was $169.7 million in the current quarter, up 1% from $167.7 million in the prior year fourth quarter, and down 18% from $206.5 million in the prior quarter. Return on average common equity was 8.7% in the current quarter, compared to 8.8% in the prior year quarter and 10.6% in the prior quarter.
The current quarter includes a $19.2 million pre-tax charge ($11.9 million after tax, or $0.05 per common share) in connection with an agreement to resolve certain long-standing class action litigation. Excluding the charge, fourth quarter results would have reflected net income per common share of $0.75, net income of $181.6 million, and return on average common equity of 9.3%. The prior quarter included a $32.6 million pre-tax gain ($20.3 million after tax, or $0.08 per common share) on the sale of an office building property. Excluding the gain, the prior quarter results would have reflected net income per common share of $0.76, net income of $186.2 million, and return on average common equity of 9.6%.
Reported net income per common share for the full year was $2.99, compared to the prior year’s $2.81 per common share. Net income for 2013 totaled $731.3 million, up $44.0 million, or 6%, from the prior year’s $687.3 million.
Frederick H. Waddell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our fourth quarter and full year results reflect continued focus on serving our clients and improving the profitability and returns of our business. Our return on equity improved to 9.5% in 2013 from 9.3% in 2012 and 8.6% in 2011. We increased our quarterly dividend to $0.31 per share and repurchased 5.5 million shares in 2013, returning $609.0 million in capital to our shareholders compared to $449.8 million in 2012.