T. Rowe Price's ( TROW) earnings rose 37% in the third quarter as assets under management continued to grow, despite a volatile market.The Baltimore money manager reported net income of almost $175 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $128 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter in 2006. The earnings result matched the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. The firm's investment advisory revenue rose 29% to $348 million in the third quarter. "We believe that the global economy will continue to grow at a reasonable rate and that the weakness in U.S. housing will continue to work its way through the system," said CEO James A.C. Kennedy in a press release. "Companies producing stable earning growth will be afforded higher prices. In our view, this environment should favor our focus on selecting stocks with sound fundamentals and attractive valuations." T. Rowe finished the third quarter with record assets under management of $396.8 billion, up 4.5% since June 30, 2007. The rise was mainly attributable to a $9.0 billion increase in mutual fund assets, which finished the quarter at $246.3 billion. Market appreciation accounted for $5.3 billion in growth, but investors also added a net $3.7 billion to the company's funds during the period.
Investors spilt their contributions between the company's international and global equity funds, which took in a net $1.4 billion; domestic and blended asset funds, which took in $1.2 billion; and fixed-income funds, which took in $1.1 billion. Target-date funds, diversified portfolios that adjust their allocations, becoming more conservative as investors approach retirement age, saw continued popularity. Target-date assets increased 11.5% to $27.1 billion on Sept. 30, 2007. T. Rowe Price's stock was up 1.4% at $56.13 in early trading. Waddell & Reed Financial ( WDR) also reported a 30% increase in third-quarter earnings. The Overland Park, Kan.-based company earned $32 million, or 39 cents a share, compared with $24.6 million, or 30 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue totaled $210.7 million, up from $178.6 million a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected the company to earn 39 cents a share on revenue of $212.8 million. The company's wholesale channel posted net sales of $1.8 billion, 213% higher than a year ago. Overall, net sales totaled $1.5 billion, more than three times higher than the third quarter of 2006 "Never during our company's 70-year history have we experienced a period of growth equal to that of this past quarter," CEO Hank Herrmann said in a statement. "Our wholesale channel is garnering assets at an unprecedented pace." At the end of September, assets under management reached an all time high of $59.4 billion. Shares of Waddell & Reed were up $1.16, or 4.1%, to $29.44 in recent trading.