Add Janus Capital Group
to the ranks of recovering fund companies reporting improved prognoses. On Thursday, the Denver-based firm announced a first quarter net income of $35.3 million, representing an 80 percent increase over net income in the same quarter last year.
"We had a good quarter overall," said CEO Gary Black
in a conference call on Thursday, though he acknowledged "some noise in the results."
The firm's income figure, which represents $0.17 per diluted share, compares with a net income of $10.8 million, $0.05 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2005, and $19.6 million, $0.09 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.
Average assets under management during the first quarter grew 8.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005, to $154.4 billion. The higher assets in the first quarter reflect long-term net inflows of $3.5 billion, money market net outflows of $0.8 billion and a total of $6.9 billion in market appreciation and fund performance.
On the performance side, Black highlighted five-year results of funds in the company's Janus Investment Fund family, which he said indicate a consistent improvement since the company's nadir in 2000 and early 2001. As of March 31, 2006, 62 percent of JIF funds were in the top half of their Lipper categories for five-year returns, compared with only 25 percent one year ago.
Black pointed to several reasons for the strong results, including consistently good performance from Janus' investment team, clients' increasing faith in the firm's stability, and enhanced efforts in advisory and institutional distribution. In addition, he said, Janus has grown more focused in the marketplace, concentrating on growth investing and risk management investing and putting "a lot of resources" into building its reputation in these areas.
He also cited growing demand for enhanced indexed assets as cause for optimism, saying Janus is "very well positioned to take advantage of that."
"Our numbers should continue to get better as we roll off some of the last remains of the 2000/ early 2001 numbers," he said.
The company also announced that, henceforth, Janus will only report GAAP results in order to simplify data.
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