Asset manager BlackRock Inc reported a 46 percent jump third-quarter earnings, topping expectations, helped in part by improved cost controls.

BlackRock, which will become the world's largest money management firm when its purchase of Barclays Global Investors closes by year-end, said profit rose to $317 million, or $2.10 per share, from $217 million, or $1.67 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected $1.93 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The estimate and earnings are adjusted for costs including integration charges for BGI and compensation obligations for large shareholders PNC Financial Services Group
and Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch unit.

BlackRock said revenue for the quarter was $1.14 billion, down from $1.31 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $1.12 billion.

The company said operating expenses fell $76 million, or 9 percent, from a year earlier due to lower incentive compensation, headcount, marketing spending and other cuts.

BlackRock's performance has stood out from other asset managers this year even as most have benefited from rising markets that drew investor cash out of low-margin money market funds and into higher-profit products like stock and bond funds.

BlackRock shares have risen 68 percent this year -- outpacing rivals like Legg Mason Inc and T. Rowe Price Group -- as the company's assets have risen and it put the BGI deal in place.

(Reporting by Ross Kerber; editing by John Wallace)