Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) today reported fourth quarter 2013 net income (1) of $298 million, or $1.47 per diluted share. Operating earnings were $378 million, up 3 percent from a year ago, with operating earnings per diluted share up 9 percent to $1.87.
Operating net revenues increased 8 percent to $2.8 billion, driven by strong fee-based business growth from client net inflows and increased client activity, as well as market appreciation, which more than offset the pressure from continued low interest rates. Excluding the impact of continued low interest rates, operating net revenues grew 10 percent compared to a year ago.
Operating expenses increased 7 percent to $2.3 billion reflecting increased volume-related distribution expense, as well as higher expense associated with the early retirement of debt. General and administrative expenses increased 1 percent compared to a year ago reflecting the company’s ongoing expense discipline.
On a full-year basis, the company generated strong operating earnings and revenue growth, driven by solid business fundamentals, including record wrap net inflows, increased client activity, as well as strong equity markets. Compared to 2012, operating net revenues grew 7 percent to $10.9 billion, operating earnings grew 17 percent to $1.5 billion, and operating earnings per diluted share increased 26 percent to $7.05. At year end, total assets under management and administration were a record $771 billion.In the quarter, segment pretax operating earnings from Advice & Wealth Management and Asset Management were $356 million, up 37 percent from the year-ago period. For the full year, operating earnings from these businesses were $1.3 billion, up 31 percent from the prior year. In the quarter, these two businesses represented 57 percent of segment pretax operating earnings (2). In the quarter, the company returned $475 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. For the full year, $1.9 billion was returned to shareholders.