Gamco Beats First-Quarter Views

Assets rise to a record $29.4 billion, helped by the debut of an M&A fund.
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Gamco Investors

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beat analysts' expectations for first quarter earnings, helped by the debut of a fund that plays to Wall Street's merger mania.

The Rye, N.Y.-based investment brokerage said Thursday that net income was $19.2 million in the three months ended March 31, up from $18.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings per share increased 6.3% during that period, reaching 67 cents per fully diluted share from 63 cents a year ago.

Analysts had been looking for net income of $16.9 million or earnings of 62 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue rose to $66.6 million in the first quarter from $59.3 million a year earlier on an increase in assets under management.

Gamco's total assets under management reached $29.4 billion March 31, up 4.5% on the quarter and 6.2% on the year.

A single closed-end fund launched in January accounted for nearly a third of the $1.3 billion increase in assets during the first quarter. The

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Gabelli Global Deal Fund, which invests in announced merger and acquisition transactions, raised $425 million.

For the year as a whole, assets in closed-end equity funds rose 17.1% to $6.2 billion. Open-end equity fund assets under management increased 8.3% over the same period to $8.9 billion, while assets in institutional and high net worth accounts rose by $600 million to $13.2 billion.

Gamco says last year's results have been adjusted to account for company consolidations.

The company's stock was up more than 4% in late morning trading.