Bank of New York Mellon Financial Corp. reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income sank 95% from a year earlier, to $28 million, or 2 cents a share, on losses related to investments and a severance charge.

The company, which reported its earnings two days early, said that excluding certain one-time charges and expenses, it earned $53 million, or 5 cents a share. A year earlier it earned $700 million, or 61 cents a share. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 69 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

"In an extraordinarily challenging year, we generated profits in every quarter, achieved revenue growth of 9%, gained share in our businesses, outperformed on the merger and integration goals, and had top-ranked client service globally," Robert P. Kelly, Bank of New York Mellon's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release.

"As we enter 2009, our business model works, and we continue to maintain the capital strength needed in this uncertain market environment," Mr. Kelly said.

His company's noninterest expenses rose 4.5% from a year earlier but fell from the third quarter, to $2.875 billion.

Assets under custody and administration fell 13% from a year earlier, to $20.2 trillion, and assets under management declined 17%, to $928 billion.

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