Blackstone Group Reports ‘Outstanding Results,’ CEO Says

Blackstone Group Reports ‘Outstanding Results,’ CEO Says
  • Blackstone is among the world's most elite investment firms and reported earnings Thursday morning.
  • The company is backed by $571 billion in assets under management.
  • Blackstone is active in private equity, real estate, and other alternative investment classes.

Blackstone ranks among the world’s most elite investment firms and backed by more than half a trillion dollars in assets under management. The company focuses on multiple alternative asset classes, most notably private equity, secondary funds, and real estate on a global basis.

On Thursday the company released its fourth quarter earnings report which CEO Stephen Schwarzman described as “outstanding results.” Total assets under management rose 21% year-over-year to $571 billion while fee-earning assets under management rose 19% from last year to $408.1 billion. Blackstone continues to have its eyes set on nearly doubling assets under management to $1 trillion by 2026. 

The company remained active in returning capital to investors. A dividend of 61 cents per share was declared and will be distributed next month. For the full year 2019, Blackstone returned $1.95 per share in the form of dividends and bought back 12.8 million shares of its own stock.

Total profit improved from a loss of $10.9 million last year to $483.1 million in the quarter.

Private Equity Unit

Blackstone’s core private-equity portfolio showed a slowdown in growth from 2.6% growth last quarter to 1.5% in the reported quarter. But it does mark an improvement from a 2.9% decline seen in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

Total assets under management rose 40% to a record high of $182.9 billion. The company’s private equity business enjoys a tremendous reputation among investors. In fact, the company raised $26 billion in committed capital in 2019 without the need to make a single presentation to investors.

Hedge Fund Solutions

Blackstone’s hedge fund enjoyed a 4% increase in total assets under management to $80.7 billion in the quarter. For the full year, the hedge fund offered a gross return of 8.2% for the year, or 7.3% net of fees, with less than one-fifth of the volatility seen in the broader markets.

Real Estate

Blackstone’s real estate unit ended the quarter with $163.2 billion in assets under management, up 20% from a year ago. Some of the notable activities include the acquisition of a last-mile U.S. logistics portfolio and the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

Credit

Blackstone’s credit business saw its total assets under management rose 13% to $144.3 million in the quarter. During the quarter, the company deployed $3.6 billion, driven by its U.S. Direct Lending strategy. Total deployments for the year totaled $10.2 billion with an additional $1.7 billion in credit which was committed but not finalized.

By Jayson Derrick
Jayson Derrick has been writing professionally about stocks since 2011. He is particularly interested in alternative investments, hedge funds, and activist investing. He is a big fan of NHL hockey and lives in Montreal, Canada with his wife and four year old daughter.
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