Private Equity: Blackstone Reports First Quarter Earnings Before the Bell

April 23, 2020 | News, Private Equity

Blackstone earnings (NYSE:BX) arrived before the bell Thursday.

While the private equity firm fell short of analyst expectations, the firm still managed to generate significant cash flows in the quarter.

The firm said that they had produced Distributable earnings during the first three months of the year of $.46 a share. The consensus Wall Street estimate was for distributable earnings of $.50. CEO Steven Schwartzman also noted that they had distributed over $700 million through dividends and share repurchases in the quarter and $3.2 billion over the last twelve months.

Blackstone Earnings for Q1

Blackstone announced a dividend of $.39 a share that will be paid on May 11. That brings the total dividends for the last year to $1.97.

Despite the turbulent markets, Blackstone continued to grow its asset base in the quarter. Total AUM increased to $538.0 billion, up 5% year-over-year, with $27.3 billion of inflows in the quarter and $118.8 billion for the LTM.  Fee-Earning AUM of $423.1 billion was up 20% year-over-year, with $50.8 billion of inflows in the quarter and $146.1 billion for the LTM.  Perpetual Capital AUM reached $101.1 billion, up 32% year-over-year.

Undrawn capital available for investment of $151.5 billion, driven by fundraising activity for the latest flagship funds.

All of their core investment strategies except secondary private equity funds showed a loss in the quarter. The secondary strategy of buying interests in other private investment funds firms limited partners in need of an early exit is expected to see increased activity in the turbulent markets this year.

Blackstone has a solid balance sheet as of the end of the quarter to help the firm survived the recession caused by COVID-19. On March 31, 2020, Blackstone had $4.2 billion in total cash, cash equivalents, and corporate treasury investments and $8.0 billion of cash and net investments, or $6.69 per share. Blackstone also has a $1.6 billion undrawn credit revolver and maintains A+/A+ ratings.

Blackstone is holding a conference call to discuss the quarter and its outlook for the year this morning. We will have details for you later.

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