More investors turned to the financial planning services of Ameriprise, helping drive the Minneapolis-based company to a sixth consecutive quarter of better-than-expected earnings.
Ameriprise earned $594 million, or $3.91 per share, up 47 percent over the first quarter of 2017. Adjusted operating earnings were up 30 percent to $563 million, or $3.70 a share.
"Ameriprise delivered a strong first quarter and a good start to the year," said Ameriprise Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Cracchiolo in a news release. "We are generating strong earnings across the firm, and our momentum in Advice and Wealth management continues with double-digit revenue growth, increased client activity and one of our strongest quarters of client net inflows."
Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Ameriprise to report adjusted earnings of $3.46 per share. It is the sixth quarter Ameriprise has exceed the consensus EPS estimate.
Net revenue increased 8.3 percent to nearly $3.2 billion in the first quarter. Analysts had expected net revenue of $3.1 billion.
Client assets in the Advice and Wealth Management business grew as more clients pumped assets into fee-based investment advisory, or wrap, accounts.
Total assets under management were $887 billion, up 9 percent over the same period last year. Assets in client wrap accounts totaled $257 billion, an increase of $5.7 billion in the quarter.
Ameriprise said it had continued investing in new digital tools. During the quarter, for example, it introduced a new interactive asset allocation tool for clients and advisers.
The Minneapolis-based financial services company also announced a dividend of 90 cents per share, an 8 percent increase over the previous quarter and the 11th quarterly dividend increase in the last nine years.
Ameriprise reported results after the market closed Monday. Shares officially closed at $145.49 per share, up 1.3 percent, but shares continued to trade higher in after-hours trading.