Janus Capital's ( JNS) third-quarter earnings fell from a year ago but still beat Wall Street forecasts, as the mutual fund company saw its highest inflows in five years.

Denver-based Janus earned $31.7 million, or 15 cents a share, in the quarter, down from $47.3 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, third quarter 2005 earnings rose 2% from a year ago to $31 million, or 14 cents a share, a penny ahead of analysts' estimate.

The company said average assets under management in the third quarter rose 4.4% to $135 billion. At Sept. 30, 2005, assets under management totaled $139.4 billion, compared with $130.3 billion at June 30, 2005.

Janus took in a net $1.7 billion of long-term assets in the quarter, the highest level in five years and the first positive quarterly performance since the second quarter of 2003. The rest of the asset increase reflected $400 million of money-market net inflows and market appreciation of $7.0 billion, according to the company. Janus' net flows now have improved for five of the last six quarters.

Much of the good news came from Janus' quant-based Intech subsidiary, which had inflows of $5.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with $3.8 billion in the second quarter, the company said. Intech's assets under management at Sept. 30, 2005, were $38.2 billion compared with $31.7 billion at the end of the second quarter of this year.

Janus' third-quarter long-term net outflows of $3.4 billion improved by $500 million from the second quarter, excluding Intech and the previously announced ING redemption of $2.0 billion.

"This was our best quarter of flows in five years," said CEO Steve Scheid. "Our positive flows -- combined with strong market conditions during the quarter -- led to improvements in our earnings per share and operating margins. These results reflect significant strides in our financial performance."

Janus also announced today its President and Chief Investment Officer Gary Black will become chief executive in January. Black, who will be CEO and CIO, will succeed current chairman and CEO Steve Scheid, who will remain chairman of the board.

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