BNY Mellon 4th quarter profits up 23%

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Bank of New York Mellon saw fourth-quarter profits jump 23 percent, to $622 million from $505 million a year earlier, as fee income edged higher, the New York-based asset management giant reported Wednesday.

The company also benefitted from a credit in its loan loss provision for the quarter and lower restructuring charges.

Per-share earnings for the three months ended Dec. 31 climbed 26 percent, to 53 cents from 42 cents. Rising stock prices, customer growth and cost cuts helped offset the effects of low interest rates, CEO Gerald Hassell said in a statement.

BNY Mellon posted a credit of $61 million in its loan loss provision for the fourth quarter. That compared with a charge of $23 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Profits a year ago also were hurt by a restructuring charge tied to cost-cutting moves, which trimmed earnings per share by 6 cents. Revenue for the quarter rose 2 percent to $3.62 billion, up from $3.54 billion.

For the full year, BNY Mellon's profits slid 3.5 percent to $2.43 billion from $2.52 billion in 2011. Per-share earnings were flat at $2.03 in both periods.

Revenue dipped 1 percent to $14.56 billion vs. $14.73 billion the previous year. Assets under custody and administration rose 9 percent from a year ago to $26.7 trillion at year end.

Mr. Hassell told analysts in a conference call that the business environment remained "challenging" and that the company would continue to focus on bringing in new customers and holding down expenses.

BNY Mellon shares lost 74 cents, or 2.8 percent, Wednesday to close at $26.04.

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