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T. Rowe Price Misses Fourth-Quarter Forecast

T. Rowe Price

(TROW) - Get T. Rowe Price Group Report

said Wednesday that fourth-quarter earnings fell well short of Wall Street's projections, as its expenses increased 18% from the same period a year ago.

The mutual fund and investment adviser said net income totaled $55.5 million, or 43 cents a share, down from $70.1 million, or 55 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Thirteen analysts polled by

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were expecting the company to earn 50 cents in the quarter.

Revenue rose to $291.6 million from $284.9 million in the equivalent period last year. The company, which is based in Baltimore, also warned of a "challenging environment" during the first half of 2001. "The market declines in the fourth quarter have impacted our assets under management and our advisory fees. We anticipate that investment income will decline sharply in this year's first half while advertising and promotion expenses in the first quarter will be slightly higher than the fourth quarter of last year," the company said in a statement.

Shares of T. Rowe Price dropped $2.69, or 6.3%, to $40.06 in recent