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Federated (FII) Q4 Earnings Beat as Revenue Rises; Cost Up

Federated Investors, Inc.FII posted a positive earnings surprise of around 2% for fourth-quarter 2016, marking the seventh straight quarter of an earnings beat. Earnings per share of 52 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and also improved 13%, year over year, from 46 cents.

Better-than-expected results were chiefly backed by higher revenues, driven by reduced voluntary fee waivers. Also, assets under management (AUM) improved during the quarter. However, higher expenses were undermining factor.

Net income for the quarter came in at $55.8 million, up 17% year over year.

For full-year 2016, net income was $208.9 million or $2.03 per share, up from $169.8 million or $1.62 per share in the prior year. Full-year earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents.

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Uptrend in Revenue; Costs Escalate

For 2016, total revenue was $1.14billion, up 23% year over year. The top line was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Total revenue in the fourth quarter rose 19% year over year to $289.9 million, however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $292 million.

The year-over-year growth in revenues can mainly be attributed to reduced voluntary fee waivers related to money market funds and increased revenue from higher average equity assets. This was partially mitigated by decreased revenue resulting from lower average money market assets.

Moreover, net investment advisory fees climbed 17% year over year to $195.1 million. In addition, net service fees (other) marked a notable increase, amounting to $42.8 million, compared with $22.9 million in the year-ago quarter. However, administrative service fees were down 4% year over year.

During the reported quarter, Federated derived 44% of its revenues from money market assets and remaining 56% from equity and fixed-income assets.

Further, supported by a rise in net investment income and other income, the company recorded a spectacular improvement in non-operating income of $0.7 million in the quarter, up 22% year over year.

Total operating expenses surged 23% year over year to $205.1 million. The rise primarily exhibits an upsurge in distribution expenses resulting from decline in voluntary yield-related fee waivers, partially offset by reduced average money market assets.

Steady Asset Position

As of Dec 31, 2016, total AUM was $365.9 billion, up 1.3% year over year. Average managed assets were $358.3 billion, up 1.2% from the prior-year quarter.

Federated witnessed equity assets of $62.4 billion, up 16% year over year. Additionally, fixed-income assets grew slightly year over year to $51.3 billion.

However, money market assets decreased 2% year over year to $252.2 billion. Moreover, money market mutual fund assets came in at $206.4 billion, down 7% year over year.

As of Dec 31, 2016, cash and other investments were $359.7 million and total long-term debt totaled $165.8 million, compared with $395.8 million and $191.3 million, respectively, as of Dec 31, 2015.

Capital Deployment Update

For 2016, Federated repurchased 3.05 million shares of Federated class B common stock for $83.6 million. Notably, during the fourth quarter, the company repurchased 706,000 shares of Federated class B common stock for $19.5 million.

Our Viewpoint

Federated displays substantial growth potential on the back of its diverse asset and product mix, as well as a solid liquidity position. Furthermore, strategic acquisitions are expected to be favorable for the company. Additionally, with rise in interest rates, lower fee waivers will continue to aid the company's top-line performance.

Despite the positives, escalating expenses could pose a major threat to the company's bottom line. Also, stringent regulations will likely continue to exert pressure on the company's earnings.

Federated Investors, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Federated Investors, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Federated Investors, Inc. Quote

Currently, Federated carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Among other investment managers, T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. TROW reported negative earnings surprise of 14.2% for fourth-quarter 2016. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.21 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.41. However, the bottom line improved 13.1% from the year-ago earnings of $1.07.

Further, Legg Mason, Inc. LM and Lazard Ltd. LAZ are scheduled to report December quarter-end results on Feb 1 and Feb 2, respectively.

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Lazard Ltd. (LAZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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