Blackstone’s Q1 profit down by 77 percent as asset sales slow



Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets, said first-quarter profit fell 77 percent as rocky markets curbed asset sales and new buyouts.
Its real estate operation struck two massive deals: a $6.5 billion sale of Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. to China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co., which is expected to close later this year, and an $8 billion buyout of BioMed Realty Trust Inc., completed in January.
Economic net income, or ENI, a measure of earnings that reflects both realized and unrealized investment gains, dropped to $370.7 million, or 31 cents a share, from $1.62 billion, or $1.37, a year earlier, New York-based Blackstone said in a statement on Thursday. Analysts had expected earnings of 40 cents a share, according to the average of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. A year after it notched record results amid buoyant markets, Blackstone, similar to other big private equity firms, rode out a global stock plunge in January and February that hobbled deal making and hurt the value of companies it had taken public and still owned. A market rebound in March allayed some of the damage.

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