* Fourth-quarter net profit $0.43/share vs $0.34 year earlier
* Adjusted earnings $0.63/share vs est. $0.58
* Advisory revenue up 12 pct at $308.9 mln
* CFO says no plans to become a bank holding company
(Adds details, executive comments, shares)
Feb 11 (Reuters) - LPL Financial Holdings Inc, the largest U.S. independent broker-dealer, reported a higher-than-expected 20 percent rise in quarterly profit as it earned more from its advisory business and commissions.
The company's advisory revenue rose 12 percent to $308.9 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, driven by strong net new advisory asset flows and buoyant stock market.
Commissions revenue rose 19 percent to $556.2 million as LPL hired new advisers.
The company sells technology, clearing and other services to independent brokers.
"Revenue growth was driven by adviser productivity and investor engagement," Chief Executive Mark Casady said in a statement.
The Boston-based company's net profit rose to $44.4 million, or 43 cents per share, in the quarter from $36.9 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net revenue rose 16 percent to $1.09 billion.
On an operating basis, LPL earned 63 cents per share.
Analysts on an average had expected earnings of 58 cents per share on revenue of $1.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
LPL said its adviser headcount rose by 110 to 13,673 during the quarter.
Chief Financial Officer Dan Arnold said LPL had decided against becoming a bank holding company to retain its capital-light structure.
The company also raised its dividend by 26 percent to 24 cents per share.
LPL's shares closed at $52.74 on Monday on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)