Blackstone reports 1% rise in first-quarter earnings

Cash to fund shareholder dividends rose to €1.19 billion

Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, said on Thursday that its first-quarter distributable earnings rose 1 per cent year-on-year supported by growth in fee-related earnings that was partly offset by a decline in income from asset divestments.

Distributable earnings, the cash used to pay dividends to shareholders, rose to $1.27 billion (€1.19 billion) compared with $1.25 billion a year earlier.

That translated to distributable earnings per share of 98 cents, which was slightly higher than the average Wall Street analyst estimate of 96 cents, according to LSEG data.

Fee-related earnings, which Blackstone generates from lucrative management and advisory fees, rose 12 per cent to $1.2 billion as strong fundraising helped its total assets under management remain just above the milestone $1 trillion mark.

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Blackstone’s net profit from asset sales fell 25 per cent to $293.3 million as it cashed out fewer assets across its private equity and credit portfolios.

During the quarter, Blackstone’s opportunistic real estate funds were flat at 0.3 per cent, corporate private equity funds appreciated by 3.4 per cent, liquid credit funds gained 2.5 per cent and its hedge funds added 4.6 per cent. By contrast, the benchmark S&P 500 rose 10.2 per cent over the same period.

Blackstone’s net income under generally accepted principles (GAAP) surged to $847.4 million, up from $85.8 million the previous year, as total revenues more than doubled driven by growth in management and performance fees as well as principal investments.

Blackstone raised $34 billion of new capital, while unspent capital reached $191.2 billion. It declared a quarterly dividend of 83 cents per share. – Reuters

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