Blackstone pushes higher after earnings beat

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Blackstone, the US company seen as bellwether for the alternative asset sector, extended its assets under management to a new record of $368.2bn through fundraising, organic growth and strong fund appreciation.

The AUM gains come as the company said it had doubled its revenues in the first quarter of the year compared to the prior year period.

Revenues jumped to $6.1bn during the first three months of the year compared to $3.01bn in the same period a year earlier thanks to the sale of assets, including a stake in Optiv Security, a cyber-security company, and shares in Hilton Worldwide.

Economic net income, a closely watched measure for private equity that includes unrealised gains on investments, rose to $986m, or 82 cents a share. This represented a 166 per cent year-on-year increase. Analysts had expected earnings per share at 68 cents.

Blackstone also posted its second best quarterly distribution ever, at $0.87 per common unit.

In total, the company will have distributed nearly $14 per common unit of value since its IPO, including $2.50 per year on average over the past three years, its chairman and chief executive, Stephen Schwarzman said.

He said: “Blackstone reported outstanding results in the first quarter, marked by strong returns across our major fund strategies as well as our best quarter for realizations on record.”

He said the results made his company “consistently one of the highest yielding large-capitalization companies in the world.”

Shares in Blackstone rose 4.2 per cent in pre-market trading after the results were announced.

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