Blackstone Earnings Jump Amid Booming Stock Market

Private-equity firm Blackstone's second-quarter net income leaped amid a booming stock market.
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Blackstone  (BX) - Get Report, the New York private-equity titan, reported second-quarter earnings leaped amid a booming stock market.

The equity surge boosted the value of Blackstone’s holdings.

Net income totaled $568.3 million, or 81 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $305.8 million, or 45 cents, in the year-ago period.

The latest results represent a stark improvement from the $1.1 billion loss for the first quarter, when stocks hit the skids.

Blackstone’s distributable earnings slid to $548 million, or 43 cents a share, from $708.9 million, or 57 cents, a year earlier. That reflects fewer asset sales by the firm.

The 43-cent figure matched Wall Street expectations, according to CNBC.

Blackstone’s private-equity holdings appreciated 12.8% in value during the second quarter.

The firm set a quarterly dividend of 37 cents a share, down from 48 cents a year earlier.

“It was a strong quarter for our firm despite the continued market volatility,” Blackstone Chief Executive Steve Schwarzman said in a statement.

“Investment performance rebounded sharply, we continued to deploy capital in high conviction sectors, and our limited partners entrusted us with another $20 billion of inflows across our expanding platform.”

That means “we are very well positioned to navigate the road ahead with our long-term committed capital model and an industry-record $156 billion of dry powder,” he said. Dry powder is the private-equity industry's term for cash available for investment.

Blackstone's earnings were “mostly positive,” Credit Suisse analyst Craig Siegenthaler wrote in a commentary cited by Bloomberg. Fee-related earnings and the $20 billion fundraising total beat his estimates.

Blackstone shares at last check traded at $58.19, up 0.3%. They have gained 2% year to date.