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Northern Trust 4th-qtr net income up 29 percent

The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Northern Trust Corp. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income rose 29 percent as it collected higher fees from clients for managing their money. But income from the company's currency trading unit fell sharply and its results missed Wall Street expectations.

The Chicago-based wealth management firm earned $167.7 million, or 69 cents per share, during the quarter that ended Dec. 31. In the same quarter a year before, Northern Trust earned $130.2 million, or 53 cents per share.

Restructuring charges in the latest quarter amounted to 2 cents per share, compared with 17 cents per share in such charges in the 2011 quarter, offset by 3 cents per share in reduced liabilities.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 75 cents per share, according to FactSet.

The company said that income from fees in its Personal Financial Services business rose 18 percent to $278.3 million, due to new business, a revised fee structure and lower waived fees in money market mutual funds.

Income from foreign exchange trading fell 43 percent to $40.8 million, due to reduced currency market volatility.

Other operating income totaled $35.7 million in the current quarter.

Total revenue rose 1.5 percent to $969.7 million in the fourth quarter.

The company ended 2012 with total assets under management of $758.9 billion, up 14 percent year over year.

Northern Trust shares fell $1.62, or 3.1 percent, to $51.19 in midday trading Wednesday.