BlackRock Inc., the country's largest publicly traded asset manager, said its fourth-quarter net income plunged 84% from a year earlier, to $53 million, or 40 cents a share, as a result of poor investment performance.

The profit decline, which BlackRock reported Wednesday, shows how the bear market has taken a bite out of even asset management firms, which are considered far more stable businesses than securities firms, since their revenue is dependent on fees, rather than trading or principal investments.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.