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Blackstone Higher After Earnings Beat Forecasts

Blackstone unloaded assets at frothy prices amid booming financial markets. The private-equity firm's stock is higher.
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Blackstone Group  (BX) - Get Blackstone Inc. Report shares rose Thursday after the world's biggest alternative-asset manager reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

The company unloaded assets at frothy prices amid booming financial markets.

Distributable earnings more than doubled in the quarter to 96 cents a share from 46 cents in the year-earlier quarter. 

The FactSet average analyst forecast was 74 cents, or an adjusted 77 cents, for the latest quarter.

Blackstone recently traded at $83.90, up 4.5%. It has jumped 48% in the past six months, thanks to the surge in financial markets.

The firm’s assets under management climbed 5% to $648.8 billion in the first quarter from $618.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2020, as Blackstone’s fund-raising machine continued to crank away. 

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It had $148.2 billion of what the PE industry calls dry powder -- funds available for investment -- as of March 31.

Blackstone’s private equity holdings gained 15.3% in the quarter, compared to 5.8% for the S&P 500. Opportunistic funds climbed 5.3% and real estate funds 3.2%.

Blackstone declared a quarterly dividend of 82 cents a share. The company’s dividends for the first half of the year indicate a yield of 4.2%.

On Tuesday, Blackstone-backed vegan food and drink maker Oatly Group reported a $60 million loss last year as part of its filing to go public in the U.S.

Last month, Blackstone and Starwood Capital agreed to purchase hotel owner Extended Stay America STAY for $6 billion in cash.

The purchase price reflected premiums of 23% to the stock's 30-day average price and 15% to its closing price of the previous Friday.