UPDATE 1-Eaton Vance profit short of estimates as costs rise

Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:53am EST

* First-quarter adj profit $0.50 vs est $0.52

* Total expenses up 7 percent

* Net income up 5 percent

* Reports net inflows of $5.4 billion

* Shares fall 2 pct

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Asset manager Eaton Vance Corp's first-quarter profit missed Wall Street estimates on higher costs, even as investors put more money into its bond funds and withdrawals from equity funds slowed.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to $49.8 million, or 38 cents per share, from $47.3 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the Boston-based company earned 50 cents per share. Analysts on average expected Eaton Vance to earn 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total expenses rose 7 percent to $217.8 million from a year earlier, driven by an increase in compensation costs.

Eaton Vance reported net inflows of $5.4 billion in the quarter compared with net outflows of $1.1 billion a year earlier.

Customers pulled out $463 million from Eaton Vance's equity funds, less than a third of the outflow last year. Its floating rate income funds reported $1.9 billion in net inflows, more than 10 times last year's inflow.

"Strong net flows, the support of rising markets and increased contributions from our strategic initiatives should position us for improved earnings results over coming quarters," Chief Executive Thomas Faust Jr said in a statement.

Consolidated assets under management rose to an all-time high of $247.8 billion at Jan. 31.

Shares of the company were down 2 percent at $39.85 in early trade on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They have risen 48 percent in the last year.

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