BlackRock Inc's fourth-quarter earnings report gave investors an indication of the kind of revenue jolt the world's biggest asset manager may get from its move into exchange-traded funds following its acquisition of Barclays Global Investors.

Net income rose to $256 million, or $1.62 a share, from $52 million, or 39 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, BlackRock said profit increased to $2.39 a share from 66 cents. On that basis, the results surpassed the analysts' average forecast of $2.10, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue was $1.54 billion, including $278 million in fees related to the one month impact of the BGI transaction, which closed on December 1, the company said. Year-earlier revenue was $1.06 billion.

With $3.2 trillion in assets under management, BlackRock now manages more money than the entire hedge fund industry.

(Reporting by Matthew Goldstein; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)