Ameriprise Financial Inc.
) reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings per share of
$1.87, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.82.
Moreover, this was above the prior-year quarter figure of $1.71.
With this, the company delivered positive earnings surprises in
all four quarters of 2013.
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For full-year 2013, Ameriprise's operating earnings per share of
$7.05 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.00. Also, it
came in well above the prior-year figure of $5.59.
Ameriprise's impressive results were primarily driven by a rise
in revenues, partially offset by higher expenses. Further, assets
under management (AUM) and assets under administration showed
improvement. The company's capital deployment activities were
encouraging as well.
After taking into consideration integration and restructuring
charges, market impact on index universal life benefits and net
realized gains/losses, Ameriprise's net income from continuing
operations came in at $298 million or $1.47 per share compared
with $388 million or $1.80 per share in the year-ago quarter. For
2013, it stood at $1.3 billion or $6.46 per share, up from the
prior-year figure of $1.0 billion or $4.63 per share.
Behind the Headlines
On an operating basis, net revenue climbed 8.4% year over year to
$2.8 billion, while it was in line with the Zacks Consensus
For full-year 2013, operating net revenue was up 7.0% year over
year to $10.9 billion. Also, it surpassed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $10.8 billion.
Operating expenses increased 6.6% year over to $2.3 billion. The
rise primarily resulted from higher distribution costs and costs
related to benefits, claims, losses and settlement expenses,
partly offset by lower amortization costs.
As of Dec 31, 2013, total AUM and assets under administration
were $771.3 billion, rising 13.2% year over year. The increase
was mainly due to market appreciation and advisor client net
Notably, Ameriprise's Asset Management and Advice & Wealth
Management segments witnessed a significant year-over-year
improvement, increasing 38% and 36%, respectively.
Capital Deployment Activities
In the reported quarter, Ameriprise repurchased 3.5 million
shares for $371 million. The company also returned $104 million
to its shareholders as quarterly dividends.
Ameriprise's results reflect an impressive year. Further,
consistent capital deployment activities continue to boost
investors' confidence. We believe a sound balance sheet and a
strong equity market will drive bottom-line improvement going
forward. However, the company's financials may remain under
pressure owing to the macro economic headwinds across the
At present, Ameriprise holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Performance of Other Investment Managers
Among other investment management firms,
The Blackstone Group L.P.
) beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in their latest earnings
releases. Results benefited from top-line growth, partially
offset by higher expenses. Further, all three companies recorded
impressive AUM growth.