Northern Trust Quarterly Income Up 16%, Matching Forecasts

Northern Trust said that higher client assets helped boost quarterly profits nearly 16%, matching market expectations.

Northern Trust, which offers private banking, investment management and global custody services, said fourth quarter net income rose 16% to $170.8 million, or 77 cents per
diluted share, from $147.6 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the firm to earn 77 cents a share, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Financial.

For the whole of 2006, net income rose 14% to a record $665.4 million, or $3 per share, from $584.4 million, or $2.64 a share, in the previous year.

William Osborn, chairman and chief executive of Chicago-based Northern Trust, said in a statement the record profits for the fourth quarter and full year were driven by
"double-digit" growth in client assets and the firm had the foundation in place for "continued growth in 2007".

Fourth-quarter consolidated revenues at Northern Trust, which competes with Bank of New York, Mellon Financial and State Street, among others, rose 12% from the same period last year to $776 million.

The firm's assets under custody rose 21% over the past year to $3.5 trillion at the end of 2006. Assets under management grew 13% to $697 billion over the same period.