* EPS 41 cents vs. Wall St view 39 cents
* Assets up 20 percent from year-ago level
* Posts net inflows despite investor jitters
* Shares drop 2.5 pct; market is broadly lower
(Adds CEO comments on muni market, share price)
BOSTON, Nov 23 Asset manager Eaton Vance Corp
(EV.N) said on Tuesday that quarterly profit rose 4 percent as
it took in more fees.
The Boston company reported earnings before adjustments of
$50.3 million, or 41 cents a share, for its fiscal fourth
quarter, ended Oct. 31, compared with $48.4 million, or 39
cents a share, a year earlier. The adjustments totaled $7.8
million, or 6 cents a share.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of 39 cents per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Eaton Vance said revenue rose 18 percent of $303.6 million,
on increased investment advisory and administration fees.
Analysts expected $287.4 million.
The company said assets under management were $185.2
billion as of Oct. 31, a figure it had given on Nov. 17, up 20
percent from a year earlier.
It reported a net inflow of $3.2 billion in the quarter,
putting it among the asset managers including T Rowe Price
(TROW.O) and Franklin Resources BEN.N> that are taking in money
at a time many investors remain jittery about equities.
Sandler O'Neill analyst Michael Kim said in an interview
that Eaton Vance also benefited from expenses that came in less
than expected. Coupled with its flows and revenue picture, "The
(earnings) beat looked pretty broad-based," Kim said. He was
among those predicting it would earn 39 cents a share, and said
the 47 cents per share figure, excluding the adjustments, was a
more appropriate comparison.
Eaton Vance shares were down around 2.5 percent in midday
trading, slightly more than other asset managers. Performance
of some of the company's larger funds has trailed that of
peers, and analysts have asked how long it can maintain its
The company's shares also have been under pressure as
investors left the municipal bond market. About 10 percent of
Eaton Vance assets are in tax-exempt funds.
On a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Eaton Vance
Chief Executive Tom Faust said the recent drop in bond prices
was driven by uncertainty over future tax rates and the recent
election results rather than a deterioration of municipal
But, he said, Eaton Vance's views of credit quality have
not changed. "Municipal bonds and asset class continue to
represent one of the highest quality categories of investment
in fixed-income area. In our judgment, all that has changed in
the past few weeks is that the price of municipal securities
have become more attractive," he said.
(Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Dave
Zimmerman and Steve Orlofsky)