The company said its first-quarter earnings rose 28 percent year over year, “driven in part by [a] lower tax rate.” BlackRock’s effective tax rate for the quarter was 19.6 percent last quarter, down from 23.8 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
BlackRock also said its operating margin expanded to 38.4 percent in the quarter from 37 percent last year.
BlackRock’s exchange-traded fund business iShares saw net inflows of $34.6 billion in the first quarter, significantly below those seen in the fourth quarter of 2017. IShares net inflows totaled nearly $55 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“Volatility did change the whole dimension of the markets,” CEO Larry Fink told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “We went into January very ebullient over the tax reform.”
“We did see a slowdown in business in February and March from the huge volumes of flows we saw in January,” Fink said.
Market volatility spiked in the first quarter as investors fretted over concerns of rising inflation and a possible trade war with China and other key U.S. trade partners.
The asset manager was in the news last month after it said it was time to take action on firearms, noting it may use its voting power to influence how some civilian gun makers are run.
On April 5, BlackRock-run iShares said it would offer a new line of products that excluded firearms makers and sellers.