Feb 6 LPL Financial Holdings Inc
reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as
adviser activity improved at the end of 2012, and the
independent brokerage said it would outsource certain work.
The Boston-based company said fourth-quarter earnings fell
to $36.9 million, or 34 cents a share, from $39.5 million, or 35
cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding charges and other items, earnings per share rose
13.6 percent to 50 cents. Analysts on average had forecast 48
cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net revenue rose 13.9 percent to $944.2 million, above
analysts' expectations of $918.2 million.
LPL, which sells technology, clearing and other services to
self-employed brokers, said its adviser headcount rose by 182
during the quarter to end the year at 13,352.
The company also said on Wednesday that it planned to
outsource certain nonadviser-facing functions to firms that
specialize in them. The changes to its labor force are part of a
broader program called Service Value Commitment, which it
expects to complete in 2015.
"This effort is not simply a cost-reduction exercise, but an
initiative to implement changes to our foundational technology,
enhance the quality of our work and improve the speed of our
delivery," Chief Executive Officer Mark Casady said in a
LPL said it expects the outsourcing to cost $70 million to
$75 million through 2014.
Client assets in fee-based advisory programs rose 20 percent
to $122.1 billion in the fourth quarter, while overall client
assets at the brokerage rose 13 percent to $373.3 billion.
Commission revenue rose 15.6 percent from a year earlier.
The company also said on Wednesday that it increased its
quarterly dividend 12.5 percent to 13.5 cents a share.