Jan 30 (Reuters) - Franklin Resources Inc said on Thursday its quarterly profit rose 17 percent as market gains drove up assets, helping the fund manager beat analysts' expectations and sending its shares up 2 percent in early trading.
For its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, the company, which operates as Franklin Templeton Investments, reported net income of $603.8 million, or 96 cents per share, up from $516.1 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S on average had expected a profit of 93 cents per share.
In morning trading, shares were up 2.15 percent at $53.80.
Total assets under management were $879.1 billion as of Dec. 31, up $34.4 billion during the quarter. The increase was mainly due to $36.0 billion in market appreciation.
Franklin Resources, based in San Mateo, California, reported no net new flows of investor cash among its long-term funds. The result was an improvement over the prior quarter, when the company reported a net outflow among those funds.