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Northern Trust beats Street 4Q forecasts

Northern Trust Corp. shares jumped Wednesday after the wealth management firm reported a much better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

The Chicago-based company earned $244 million for the period, up 44 percent from the prior year’s quarter. It earned 98 cents on a per share basis. Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, amounted to 94 cents per share.

That far exceeded market forecasts. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were anticipating earnings of 81 cents per share.

Northern Trust posted revenue of $1.13 billion in the period, also topping forecasts. Analysts expected $1.1 billion, according to Zacks.

Company chairman and CEO Frederick Waddell said new business and stock market gains, which increased its client assets, helped drive its gains for the quarter. It also got a boost from improved trust, investment and other servicing fees.

For the year, the company reported profit of $811.8 million, or $3.32 per share. Revenue was reported as $4.33 billion.

Northern Trust shares increased $4.18, a 6.7 percent, to $66.62 in midday trading Wednesday.

It shares had dropped slightly more than 7 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has dropped nearly 2 percent. The stock had risen roughly 3 percent in the last 12 months.