UPDATE 1-Bank of New York Mellon reports first-quarter profit

Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:08am EDT

(Adds share price, analyst and executive comments)

April 22 (Reuters) - Bank of New York Mellon Corp reported a first-quarter profit on Tuesday as rising markets drove up its assets under custody and administration.

The large New York trust bank reported net income of $661 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $266 million, or 23 cents per share, on a charge from a tax ruling.

Analysts on average expected a profit of 53 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Assets under custody and/or administration were $27.9 trillion on March 31, the bank said, up 6 percent from a year earlier.

Shares of BNY Mellon were down 0.3 percent at $33.60 in early trading. With its stock lagging that of rival State Street Corp in recent years, BNY Mellon has been under pressure to control costs.

Reviewing the quarter, analysts gave mixed reviews because of factors like a decline in revenue from foreign exchange trading, and low interest rates overall.

"While expense control is a positive, environmental revenue headwinds seem relentless," Sandler O'Neill analyst Jeffrey Harte wrote in a note to investors.

Speaking on a conference call with investors Tuesday morning, executives reviewed plans to control technology spending, such as by changing the ways the bank develops applications, and to address real estate expenses. For instance, BNY Mellon is selling its headquarters building at 1 Wall Street in New York, and Chief Financial Officer Todd Gibbons said the sale could take place by the end of September.

"We are taking aggressive action in virtually every expense category," Chief Executive Officer Gerald Hassell said on the call. (Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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