Earnings in First Quarter at Blackstone Soar

Blackstone Group LP the largest alternative asset manager in the world announced Thursday that its profit for the first quarter doubled compared to the same period last year.

The increase was thanks to strong sales of assets that were generated through its real estate and private equity units bringing in record amounts of cash.

For the second consecutive quarter, private equity passed real estate as the biggest driver of earnings in Blackstone, thanks to share sales in companies like Pinnacle Foods, Michaels Companies and Catalent.

Blackstone announced that its ENI- Economic Net Income – which is a metric in determining its profitability that considers the market valuation of its entire portfolio during the quarter was $1.62 billion, which was up 99% from the same period one year ago.

This in turned translated to per share ENI of $1.37. Analysts had anticipated an ENI of $1.04 for the quarter.

One equity analyst on Wall Street said the marks were better than what the market was expecting during the three-month period and that drove performance fees up higher than had been anticipated.

Private equity for the quarter contributed $829.3 million toward the ENI at Blackstone, while real estate contributed a total of $638.2 million.

The credit investment segment for Blackstone had an ENI that was at $78.3 million, which was down by 3%, while its unit of hedge fund investment reported a drop of 22% in ENI to end the quarter at $88.2 million.

The private equity funds at Blackstone appreciated by 6.4% during the recently ended quarter, while its funds in real estate increased in value by over 8.2%.

Earnings that were distributable, which show the cash that is available for paying dividends, was up 159% to over $1.23 billion during the quarter.

The total assets under Blackstone management were up 14% to $310.4 billion as of March 31. Fee-earning assets under Blackstone management were up as well by 10% to more than $223.4 billion.

Blackstone declared a dividend for the quarter of 89 cents per common share.