BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Private equity firm and asset manager American Capital Ltd. said Monday its fourth-quarter net income dropped 79 percent, but its adjusted profit narrowly beat Wall Street predictions.

American Capital earned $123 million, or 38 cents per share, for the last three months of 2012, down from $594 million, or $1.73 per share, in the same quarter last year. The recent quarter's results are based on 320.7 million outstanding shares, while those of the year ago are based on 343.9 million.

Excluding expenses, the company said its net operating income for the recent quarter totaled 26 cents per share.

Operating revenue increased 13 percent to $180 million from $160 million, as interest and dividend income rose 5 percent to $157 million, while fee income more than doubled to $23 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 25 cents per share on $142 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said its net asset value increased 29 percent from its year-ago to level to $17.84 per share as of Dec. 31.

For the full year 2012, American Capital earned $1.14 billion, or $3.44 per share, up from $974 million, or $2.74 per share, in 2011. Revenue increased to $646 million from $591 million.

American Capital shares fell 12 cents to $13.20 in midday trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $8.16 to $13.59.

 

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