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Raymond James sets quarterly records for profit, revenue

Continuing its steady climb out of the financial crisis of 2009, Raymond James Financial reported a 90 percent jump in first-quarter profit and an 18 percent jump in revenue, notching records in both categories.

The St. Petersburg financial services firm said Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to $81.7 million, or 65 cents a share, up from $42.9 million in the year-ago period. Net revenue rose to $813.8 million, up from $687 million last year.

CEO Paul Reilly said hitting record numbers without the benefit of nonbank interest earnings like service and penalty charges "bodes well for our future earnings potential during this economic recovery."

Raymond James' banking unit and its private client group led the growth. The capital markets unit grew 12 percent over last quarter, driven in part by increased merger and acquisition activity, especially in Canada.

In an appearance on CNBC late Wednesday, Reilly said the company is seeing investors steadily but cautiously coming back into equity markets. The biggest risk, he said, is not capitalizing on the opportunities of the moment to grow the business.

"There are a lot of firms like ours that are gone today after the financial meltdown," he said. "We really have an opportunity to capture this emerging … middle-market space."

Quarterly results were released after the close of market. Raymond James shares closed Wednesday at $33.60 apiece, down 61 cents.

Separately, the firm disclosed in regulatory filings that Reilly, who became chief executive last May, received a total of $3.1 million in compensation last year. That includes a base salary of $409,000, a $2.18 million bonus, $315,000 in stock awards and options, and other compensation.

Reilly succeeded Tom James, who stepped down after leading the company for 40 years but remained board chairman. James' compensation package last year totaled nearly $2.8 million, a 12 percent increase from his 2009 compensation. The company scheduled its annual meeting for Feb. 24.

.fast facts

Bank earnings

Wells Fargo & Co., one of the largest lenders to consumers among U.S. banks, on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit shot up as its customers opened more accounts and improved their loan paying habits. In all, the San Francisco-based bank said its net income attributable to common stockholders was $3.2 billion, or 61 cents per share. The company earned $394 million, or 8 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Goldman Sachs Group's earnings fell 53 percent in the fourth quarter due to sharp declines in its bond trading and investment banking businesses. The New York bank earned $2.23 billion after paying preferred dividends in the last three months of the year, down from $4.79 billion in the same period year earlier. Revenue fell 10 percent to $8.64 billion.

Raymond James sets quarterly records for profit, revenue 01/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:48pm]

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