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BlackRock Assets Hit Record $9 Trillion as Earnings Surge

BlackRock's assets under management rise to a record $9 trillion as financial markets surge to new records, driving up first-quarter earnings.

BlackRock's  (BLK) - Get BlackRock Inc. Report assets under management rose to a record $9 trillion in the first quarter as the world's biggest asset manager benefited from financial markets surging to new records amid government stimulus and the accelerating rollout of vaccines.

BlackRock on Thursday reported adjusted net income of $1.2 billion, or $7.77 a share, beating the $7.68 estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet. The New York-based asset management giant posted revenue of $4.4 billion vs. analysts’ expectations of $4.31 billion.

Net flows into long-term investment products including ETFs and cash totaled $172 billion as of March 31, BlackRock said, a stark reversal from a year ago when investors withdrew a net of about $18.7 billion amid the onset of the pandemic and a global panic-driven selloff in stocks.

GAAP operating income rose 126% on a year-over-year basis, while per-share earnings gained 51%.

“BlackRock’s differentiated platform and our insights on some of the biggest issues society is facing today are resonating with clients,” BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in a statement.

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Investment advisory, administration fees and securities lending revenue increased $199 million from the fourth quarter of 2020, BlackRock said, while securities lending revenue slipped to $127 million from $131 million. 

Performance fees increased $88 million, “primarily reflecting higher revenue from liquid alternative and long-only products.”

BlackRock recently disclosed that it has begun trading Bitcoin futures. According to filings with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, the world's largest asset manager held $6.5 million in Bitcoin futures contracts earlier this year.

Those contracts registered a gain of about $360,000 by Jan. 31, when it was reported to the SEC.

At last check, shares of BlackRock were up 2.61% at $822.90.