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Blackstone's fourth-quarter earnings rise 4% as asset sales pick up

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LA Post: Blackstone's fourth-quarter earnings rise 4% as asset sales pick up
January 25, 2024
Chibuike Oguh - Reuters

By Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blackstone Inc reported a 4% rise in its fourth-quarter distributable earnings on Thursday, as the world's largest private equity firm cashed out on more of its assets across real estate, credit, and hedge funds.

Distributable earnings, which represents cash used to pay dividends to shareholders, rose to nearly $1.4 billion in the three months to Dec. 31, up from $1.3 billion a year earlier.

This translated to distributable earnings per share of $1.11, which was slightly ahead of the average Wall Street analyst estimate of 95 cents, according to LSEG data.

The company's net profit from asset sales rose 16% to $424.8 million, even as high interest rates, economic uncertainty and market volatility continue to weigh on the ability of private equity firms to cash out their investments.

During the fourth quarter, the value of Blackstone's opportunistic real estate portfolio lost 3.8%, corporate private funds gained 3.5%, while private credit and liquid credits fund added 3.9% and 3.3%, respectively. Its hedge funds gained 2.3%. During this period, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 11.2%.

Blackstone's net income under generally accepted accounting principles fell nearly 73% to $151.8 million driven primarily by principal investment losses of nearly $300 million.

Blackstone's assets under management stood at $1.04 trillion, while unspent capital reached $197.3 billion. It raised $52.7 billion of new capital during the quarter, spent $31.1 billion on new investments, and declared a dividend of 94 cents.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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