NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- KKR (KKR) continues to grow the amount of distributions it pays to investors, as the private equity firm exits some longstanding investments and bolsters its balance sheet with acquisitions.
The firm generated economic net income of $501.6 million in the second quarter and 67 cents in distributions per share, a sharp rise from this time a year ago. KKR's quarterly distribution per share beat analyst estimates at Oppenheimer & Co. and Sterne, Agee & Leach, and were buoyed by cash generated from realized asset sales and the impact of the firm's acquisition of asset manager KKR Financial, a deal that closed in the second quarter.
KKR's distribution consisted of 9 cents in fee-related earnings and 41 cents in realized cash carry plus distributed net realized investment income of 12 cents from KKR and 5 cents from KKR Financial.
Although distributions and earnings rose at KKR, overall firmwide assets under management and fee-related earnings fell as a result of investment realizations and the accounting nuances of its KKR Financial acquisition. KKR also re-classified a few of its reporting segments to reflect the firm's reliance on its balance sheet for growth, possibly creating some confusion for investors.
KKR shares were falling nearly 3% in early Thursday trading at $24.63. Analysts generally believe KKR has conservatively marked its private equity portfolio, giving the firm the ability to generate continued earnings from asset realizations.