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BlackRock suffers in the first quarter from lower asset levels even as investors continued to pour new money into its low-cost exchange-traded funds.

BlackRock (BLK - Get Report) , the largest publicly traded money-management firm, said first-quarter profit slipped 3% from a year earlier, after the market swoon in late 2018 reduced average assets levels and thus lowered the base for calculating fees.    

Net income fell to $1.05 billion, or $6.61 a share, the New York-based company said Tuesday in a press release. On average, Wall Street analysts had estimated earnings of $6.13 a share.

Revenue fell 7% to $3.35 billion, even as investors put $59 billion of new money into BlackRock's funds. The flows predominantly went into the iShares exchange-traded funds, which have benefited from a surge in popularity for the low-cost vehicles at the expense of traditional mutual funds offered by both BlackRock and its competitors.   

"BlackRock continues to build and evolve our organization, ahead of changing client needs," CEO Larry Fink said in the press release.