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BlackRock Earnings Fall

The asset manager is weighed down by a merger charge.
Author:

Asset manager

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get BlackRock, Inc. Report

reported lower third-quarter profit due to a big charge stemming from the merger of some of its operations with

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

.

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In the quarter, BlackRock earned $18.9 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with $61.1 million, or 92 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 7% to $323 million.

The current quarter was weighed down by an 88-cents-a-share charge related to the deal with Merrill Lynch. Without the charge, BlackRock would have earned $1.16 a share.

By that measurement, the firm beat the Thomson Financial consensus estimate of $1.16 a share, but revenue fell short of the consensus estimate of $342 million.

BlackRock's deal to merge with Merrill Lynch's asset-management business was completed earlier this year. The deal with Merrill Lynch reduced

PNC Financial's

(PNC) - Get PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Report

equity stake in BlackRock. In the past, BlackRock had been a significant contributor to PNC's earnings.

BlackRock, meanwhile, said it expects 2007 net income to range between $6.30 to $6.65 a share. On an operating basis, the firm is looking for earnings of between $6.65 and $7.05 a share. The analyst consensus estimate has the firm earning $6.87 a share next year.