The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) declared a troubled second quarter result as net earnings, defined by the firm as ‘economic net income after taxes,’ tumbled 74 percent to $212.3 million from $804.2 million last year, as reported in dealbook. Blackstone is the world’s largest private equity firm.
Earnings per share at $0.19 also missed street expectations of $0.21 a share.
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On a GAAP basis, Blackstone incurred a loss of $75 million, or 14 cents a share, against last year’s profit of $86.2 million, or 18 cents a share. Revenue on this basis fell from $1.3 billion to $627 million.
The results are an indicator of how a weak market has adversely affected even a massive organization like Blackstone, which straddles the entire gamut of private equity, investment banking, hedge funds and real estate. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman and chief executive, described the environment as “miserable,” and could exacerbate with the “fiscal cliff” anticipated in the second half.
Even in such an environment, however, the firm managed to boost its assets under management by 20 percent to $190.3 billion.
The performance was echoed in a statement by Schwarzman: “In an environment characterized by slowing global growth, and heightened investor caution, our limited partner investors are entrusting us with a greater share of their capital.”
Business-wise, hedge fund revenues were down 15 percent, while private equity holdings also fell 4.2 percent, as did performance fees. However, revenues in the debt-investment business rose 53 percent from the previous year.
As at the end of the quarter, the firm had un-invested capital of $36 billion, of which $16.4 billion related to private equity. It had also put together a global real estate fund of $12 billion, the largest ever created. David Chiaverini, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets Corp., said in a July 5 note to clients: “Blackstone’s real estate effort remains in a market- leading position, both in terms of portfolio size, and its ability to deploy capital.”