A month has gone by since the last earnings report for BlackRock (BLK). Shares have added about 6.3% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is BlackRock due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
BlackRock Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates as Revenues Rise
BlackRock’s fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $8.34 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.67. Moreover, the figure was 37.2% higher than the year-ago quarter’s number.
Results benefitted from an improvement in revenues. Moreover, growth AUM, driven by net inflows, was a positive. However, higher expenses hurt results to some extent.
Net income attributable to BlackRock (on a GAAP basis) was $1.30 billion, up 40.3% from the prior-year quarter.
For 2019, adjusted earnings were $28.48 per share, up from $26.93 recorded a year ago. Moreover, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $27.87. Net income attributable to BlackRock (GAAP basis) was $4.48 billion for the year, increasing 4% from the previous year.
Revenues Improve, Expenses Rise
Revenues for the reported quarter (on a GAAP basis) were $3.98 billion, increasing 15.8% year over year. The upside stemmed from an increase in almost all components of revenues, except for distribution fees. Moreover, the reported figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.88 billion.
For 2019, revenues (GAAP basis) were $14.54 billion, increasing 2.4% year over year. Moreover, the reported figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14.43 billion.
Total expenses for the quarter amounted to $2.44 billion, up 11.5% year over year. The increase was due to rise in all cost components. The company did not incur any restructuring charge in the quarter.
Non-operating income (on a GAAP basis) was $96 million against non-operating expenses of $72 million recorded in the year-ago quarter.
BlackRock’s adjusted operating income was $1.54 billion, up 17.4% year over year.
Net Inflows Support AUM Growth
As of Dec 31, 2019, AUM totaled $7.43 trillion, reflecting rise of 24.3% year over year. In the reported quarter, the company witnessed long-term net inflows of $99 billion.
In 2019, BlackRock repurchased shares worth $1.7 billion.
For 2020, the company expects rise in core G&A expenses of 5% year over year, mainly due to continued investments in technology and market data along with the full-year impact of the eFront acquisition.
Growth in technology services revenues is expected to be in low to mid-teens range over the long term.
The company expects to repurchase at least $1.2 billion of shares in 2020.
It anticipates effective tax rate of 23% for 2020.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates revision.
At this time, BlackRock has a subpar Growth Score of D, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, BlackRock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.