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Blackstone Swings to Loss

The private-equity firm says credit turmoil is ongoing.
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Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Blackstone Inc. Report swung to a third-quarter loss on charges from its initial public offering, while revenue for the period rose 14%.

The private-equity giant reported a third-quarter loss of $113.2 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $372.5 million. The bottom line was pulled down by $802.6 million in non-cash charges tied to the vesting of stock-based awards from its June IPO and the amortization of intangibles.

Revenue rose to $526.7 million from $461.5 million the prior year.

The quarter was Blackstone's first full period as a public company, and it marked a difficult time for private-equity firms as a freeze in credit financing roiled the markets. Blackstone said it saw the tough financing conditions begin in late June, and they have continued to date.

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"This environment provides us with both challenges and opportunities," said Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen Schwartzman. "While it will be difficult to structure very large leveraged transactions in corporate private equity and real estate until the credit markets improve, pricing of assets is more favorable."

The company's corporate private-equity revenue increased to $227.3 million in the third quarter from $159.6 million the prior year, while real estate revenue slid to $109.6 million from $196.1 million as commercial real estate lending was hit by turmoil in the financing markets.

Revenue from marketable alternative asset management nearly doubled to $124.9 million from $66.5 million a year earlier, while financial advisory revenue rose to $84.3 million from $52.6 million.