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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets, said on Thursday fourth-quarter earnings slumped 42 percent from a year earlier to $722 million, hurt by lower performance fees. Distributable earnings - the actual cash available for paying dividends - were 57 cents per unit in the fourth quarter, compared with $1 per unit a year earlier, when earnings were boosted by a windfall from the sale of European warehouse firm Logicor. Fee-related earnings, the amount Blackstone earns from management fees and a component of distributable earnings, were up 23 percent year on year at $433 million. Assets managed by Blackstone hit a record $472 billion at the end of 2018.
Despite the earnings drop, the results were described as “modestly positive” by Credit Suisse analyst Craig Siegenthaler, who rates the stock “outperform.”, At midday, Blackstone shares were up 1.7 percent at $33.70, Blackstone, which manages assets like private equity and real estate, also said it would pay a quarterly distribution of 58 sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks cents per common unit, slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates for 57 cents, according to Refinitiv data, The firm’s private equity portfolio was down 2.9 percent in the quarter as the benchmark S&P 500 stock index dropped about 14 percent, its worst three months in more than 7 years, Its private equity portfolio surged 19.1 percent for 2018..
Peer Apollo Global Management on Thursday reported its private equity fund depreciated 10.9 percent in the quarter and was down 9.8 percent for 2018. Blackstone said its dry powder - the amount it has raised from investors but yet to invest - hit $112.9 billion, and firm President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Gray said the recent market volatility has created a buying opportunity. “With pricing for risk assets down meaningfully over the past 6 months, it’s a more interesting time to deploy capital globally,” Gray said in an earnings call.
Blackstone said last week it sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks would focus on distributable earnings as its primary performance metric, instead of economic net income, or ENI, a non-GAAP measure that reflects the mark-to-market valuation gains or losses on its portfolio, The move follows those of peers KKR & Co and Carlyle Group in dropping the esoteric ENI metric, as they try to make their businesses easier for investors to understand, Under generally accepted accounting principles, Blackstone posted a net loss attributable to the firm of $10.9 million for the quarter..
(Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc’s multi-billion-dollar effort to revamp its network helped it exceed profit expectations in the crucial holiday fourth quarter, driving down costs as e-commerce deliveries surged to record levels. Shares jumped 5.2 percent to $106.47 in midday trading after UPS also said its efforts would propel growth in adjusted operating profit by around 13 percent this year. “Our strategies are paying off and giving us profit improvement,” UPS Chief Executive David Abney told Reuters.
UPS and rival FedEx have undertaken massive network revamps to better manage a surge in packages driven by an increasing shift by consumers to online shopping, Those home deliveries are pricier because there are fewer of them in general than those heading to business addresses, UPS spent $6.6 billion in 2018 as part of a three-year plan to automate package-sorting hubs, make routes more efficient and to upgrade airplanes and other equipment, The effort is sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks beginning to pay off, said Cowen & Co analyst Helane Becker..
“UPS posted its strongest peak shipping season since at least 2013 .. and these trends should continue as new global sorting hubs come online,” she said. The earnings report lands as growth in European and Asian economies decelerates and the U.S. shows signs of cooling. UPS rival FedEx Corp last month slashed its 2019 forecast, citing slowing global trade. UPS gets 20 percent of its revenue overseas. It is less exposed than FedEx, which gets one-third of its revenue from outside the United States.
UPS is also pushing to recruit more small business customers and to increase expedited services, which are more profitable than delivering e-commerce parcels to shopper doorsteps, Those factors helped “buffer the impacts of global economic softening,” Abney sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks said, To be sure, some impact of the global slowdown on future earnings is expected, with UPS forecasting 2019 earnings per share between $7.45 and $7.75, largely below analysts’ average estimate of $7.69 per share, according to Refinitiv data..
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