BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) on Thursday reported higher fourth-quarter earnings, boosted its dividend and expanded its share buyback program as the ETF business continue to drive its bottom line.

The asset manager said its iShares ETF lineup attracted net inflows of $35.7 billion in the quarter. The iShares business accounts for $752.7 billion, or 22% of BlackRock’s total long-term assets under management.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that BlackRock would buy the European ETF business of Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS). [BlackRock to Acquire Credit Suisse ETF Business]

BlackRock led all ETF providers in terms of 2012 inflows after trailing rival Vanguard for two years. [iShares Takes Back the ETF Inflow Crown]

CEO Larry Fink in August reorganized BlackRock’s senior leadership and product distribution to revive investor deposits, and in October created a series of lower-fee ETFs in a bid to reverse a decline in its U.S. market share, Bloomberg News reports.

Last year, the company announced expense ratio cuts at several of its existing ETFs as it launched the iShares Core Series targeting buy-and-hold investors. [BlackRock ‘Core’ iShares ETF Family Gets Solid Reception]

“The moves, and a decision by Vanguard Group Inc. to change the index provider for its funds, helped increase ETF deposits,” according to Bloomberg.

“We are encouraged around the solid organic growth as BlackRock’s iShares pricing strategy begins to build momentum,” Citigroup analysts said in the report.

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