Blackstone shares gain for a second straight session on Thursday, first-quarter distributable earnings rise supported by higher management fees

The Blackstone Group LP’s (BX) first-quarter distributable earnings, reported on Thursday, went up 3.55% year-on-year, supported by higher management and advisory fee revenue.

Blackstone shares closed higher for a second consecutive trading session in New York on Thursday. It has also been the sharpest single-session gain since April 16th. The stock went up 4.53% ($2.10) to $48.43, after touching an intraday high at $49.75, or a price level not seen since April 17th ($50.20).

Shares of The Blackstone Group LP have retreated 13.43% so far during the current year, following an 87.66% gain in 2019.

The company said its total assets under management had shrunk to $538 billion during the first quarter from $571.1 billion in the previous three-month period. First-quarter dividend declared was $0.39 per share.

Revenue generated from management and advisory fees grew 16% year-on-year in Q1, supported by continued fundraising, while revenue from performance fees decreased 32% year-on-year.

Blackstone’s distributable earnings went up to $557.1 million during the latest quarter from $538 million in the same period a year ago. Distributable earnings per share were reported at $0.46, while missing a consensus of estimates of $0.50 per share.

On the other hand, the value of Blackstone’s private equity funds dropped 21.6% during the first quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while the benchmark S&P 500 Index registered a 20% loss over the same period.

“We entered this crisis in a position of great strength, having recently completed a two-year fundraising cycle of nearly $250 billion. With ample capital reserves, long-term fund structures, and over $150 billion of dry powder capital – more than anyone in our industry – we are uniquely positioned to invest on behalf of our clients at a time of historic dislocation,” Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 13 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding The Blackstone Group LP’s stock price, have a median target of $55.00, with a high estimate of $64.00 and a low estimate of $43.00. The median estimate represents a 13.57% upside compared to the closing price of $48.43 on April 23rd.

The same media also reported that at least 12 out of 17 surveyed investment analysts had rated The Blackstone Group LP’s stock as “Buy”, while 5 – as “Hold”.

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