Shares of Janus Capital ( JNS) and Franklin Resources ( BEN) moved higher Thursday after the asset managers posted strong growth in assets under management, although Janus reported a 41% drop in quarterly earnings as results were weighed down by charges.

Denver-based Janus earned $10.8 million, or 5 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, down from $18.2 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, most notably a goodwill impairment charge at its printing business, Janus' adjusted earnings were $33.3 million, or 16 cents a share, matching the Thomson First Call estimate.

Average assets under management in the fourth quarter rose to $142.6 billion from $135 billion in the third quarter. The company said the higher assets in the fourth quarter reflect long-term net inflows of $4.3 billion, money market net inflows of $500 million and a total of $4.3 billion in market appreciation and fund performance.

For all of 2005, long-term net inflows totaled $2 billion, marking the company's first year with positive flows since 2000.

Janus' quantitative-based INTECH subsidiary continued to be the company's strongest performer, with net inflows of $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter and $16.1 billion for all of 2005. INTECH assets under management at Dec. 31 jumped 73% to $44.7 billion from $25.8 billion at the end of 2004. Excluding INTECH, Janus would have recorded $900,000 in long-term outflows in the quarter.

"I'm pleased with the significant progress the firm made in 2005, particularly the improvement in our flows," said Janus Chairman Steve Scheid in a statement. "Ending the year with positive annual flows for the first time since 2000 is a big step forward." Scheid served as CEO until the end of 2005, and was replaced by Chief Investment Officer Gary Black.

Janus shares recently traded up 30 cents, or 1.4%, to $21.74.

Franklin, meanwhile, reported a 33% jump in its quarterly profit, amid increased demand for its new funds and higher assets under management.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based operator of Franklin Templeton funds reported net income of $318 million, or $1.21 a share, for its first quarter ended Dec. 31. Analysts, on average, projected earnings of $1.12 a share. A year earlier, the company posted a profit of $240 million, or 92 cents a share. Revenue increased to $1.18 billion from $986 million a year ago, topping analysts' forecast of $959.9 million.

Assets under management at Franklin were $464.8 billion at Dec. 31, up from $453.1 billion at Sept. 30 and $402.2 billion at Dec. 31, 2004. Simple monthly average assets under management rose to $453.3 billion from $440.5 billion in the preceding quarter and $381 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, the company said.

Franklin shares recently traded up $3.01, or 3%, to $100.31.

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