NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

BlackRock Inc.

(BLK) - Get Report

earned $551 million in the third quarter, or $2.75 per share, as the money management giant benefitted from its acquisition of Barclays Global Investors (BGI) and brought in new business.

The results were 74% higher than a year ago and a 28% improvement on the second quarter, as assets under management jumped 9%, or $295.5 billion to $3.45 trillion. The bulk of that came from the acquisition of BGI in December of 2009, though Blackrock also added $50.1 billion in new business.

The results included a tax benefit of 11 cents per share, but still handily beat the

Thomson Reuters

analyst consensus of $2.46.

In a note immediately following the release of earnings on Wednesday morning, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Doug Sipkin attributed the beat to performance-related incentive fees.

In a conference call following the release of the numbers, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told analysts BlackRock would consider dividends and share buybacks in 2011, according to

Bloomberg News

.

Despite the apparent strong numbers and Fink's statements, BlackRock shares were lower in early trading Wednesday, down 1.76% to $171.55.

BlackRock, which is 34%-owned by

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, is one of several investors, including

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

,

Pacific Investment Management Co.

and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, pressuring Bank of America to buy back some $16 billion worth of mortgage loans that were pooled into securities purchased by those investors, according to

Bloomberg News

and other reports.

--

Written by Dan Freed in New York

.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.