How High Will Blackstone Soar?

The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) didn’t do too bad for itself last year, with the last quarter and the whole year showing increased performance from the year earlier.

Some might chalk it up to the private equity industry’s revival, others might go with wise investment, but either way, Blackstone has shown great performance in the last quarter. Blackstone’s earnings for the fourth quarter were up at about $670 million — a 43 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Annual earnings reached about $2 billion — a 30 percent increase from 2011.

Investors are making great returns as markets roar higher. Join the party. Click here to discover our Feature Stock Pick now!

Basic earnings results are not the only type that an equity firm like Blackstone posts, but even then, the different types of figures coming out of the company are quite positive. The firm’s economic net income, distributable earnings, and assets under management all rose during the quarter.

For economic net income, including unrealized gains on investments, the value bested average estimates of $0.47 a share from analysts, reaching much higher to $0.59 a share. This was how the firm reported its quarterly profit…

Also jumping up was Blackstone’s distributable earnings, which jumped a whopping  177 percent year over year, to $493.8 million, which could then be paid out to the company’s limited partners.

Perhaps the biggest in value, Blackstone’s assets under management reached $210.2 billion, making for a 26 percent increase in the quarter. Among its assets, one of Blackstone’s top performers was in the hedge fund business and core private equity firm, where earnings jumped 163 percent and profits climbed 86 percent.

Showing one of Blackstone’s only signs of weakness for the quarter — and in an area that had appeared as though it would prove strong — the firm’s real estate division, its largest division, saw profits fall 2 percent. The decline likely came as a surprise, as real estate was believed to have the potential to become a new industrial asset class worth up to $1.5 trillion. Perhaps later on.

Blackstone’s stock has traded well since the figures came out. Thursday morning, shares were trading more than 8 percent over the previous close.

Investing Insights: Is Western Union Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places?