) --

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


(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.