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Strong Results for Alliance Capital

The asset manager posts an earnings beat and announces plans to change its name.

Alliance Capital Management

(AC) - Get Associated Capital Group, Inc. Class A Report

, one of the largest publicly traded U.S. money managers, reported a 28% rise in fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday amid a strong investment performance and higher assets under management.

The New York-based firm said net income rose to $289.9 million, or $1.02 a unit, from $228.2 million, or 80 cents a unit, a year earlier. The results beat the Thomson First Call mean analyst estimate of 95 cents a unit.

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"Fourth-quarter and full-year investment returns for our clients were excellent," said Lew Sanders, chairman and chief executive of Alliance, in a statement. "Almost all of our key equity services delivered strong absolute and relative returns, with particularly impressive performance in growth and style blend services. Although conditions in the fixed income markets offered less opportunity, here too, most of our services outperformed their benchmarks in the quarter and for the year."

The company said assets under management as of Dec. 31 were $579 billion, up 7.4% from a year earlier, due primarily to strong investment performance and net inflows. Adjusted for several asset sales last year, assets under management rose by 13.8%.

Net long-term inflows for the quarter were $10.9 billion. Institutional investment management net inflows were $9.1 billion, retail net inflows were $1 billion, and private client net inflows were $800 million, the company said.

The company said Alliance Capital Management Holding and its Alliance Capital Management unit will change their names to AllianceBernstein Holding LP and AllianceBernstein LP, respectively, in late February. The firm said the new name better describes the "character" of its business.