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Thursday, April 25, 2002

Gabelli, AMG Make the Mark

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Two of the smallest publicly traded fund firms did relatively better than their larger peers in the first quarter. Gabelli Asset Management met expectations while Affiliated Managers Group did better than Wall Street expected.

The two fund firms have the lowest market capitalizations of the dozen public fund firms.

Gabelli saw assets increase roughly $1.2 billion in the first quarter, pushing its total assets under management to $25.9 billion, up 9.5 percent from $23.7 billion a year ago. The firm started the quarter with $24.8 billion in assets. Net flows into its open-end mutual funds were $146 million.

Because Gabelli only takes it asset management at the end of the quarter, the growth in assets did not translate into growth in revenue. At $58.0 million revenues were flat with the $58.3 million reported in the first quarter of 2001. Earnings, however, rose 5 percent to $28.1 million from the $26.8 million earned in the first quarter of 2001. Gabelli expects the increased asset base to hit its revenues in the second quarter.

Gabelli's boosted its operating margins to 48.5 percent from 45.9 percent through staff reductions, lower incentive compensation. The firm also cut its operating expenses by 11 percent by squeezing mutual fund administration and distribution costs "continued efforts to better manage and reduce" its overall cost structure.

Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) reported cash earnings for the first three months of $1.08 compared to $1.07 expected by analysts. AMG's earnings on a diluted basis were $0.63 per share.

AMG reported revenue of $119.3 million up from $100.5 million for the first quarter of 2001.

The firm said its strongest results were turned in by its value-oriented affiliates, including Tweedy, Browne, Systematic and Skyline," said Sean M. Healey, President and Chief Operating Officer.

"Our Affiliate Development team continues to identify opportunities for Affiliates to expand their product offerings and broaden their distribution," added Healey.  

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