Blackstone blows out earnings

April 21, 2011, 5:23 PM UTC

The Blackstone Group (BX) this morning reported its best quarterly earnings since going public four years ago. Second straight quarter they’ve done that.

The headline number is $568 million in “economic net income,” up 10.7% from $513 million in Q4 2010 and 58% from $360 million in Q1 2010. Adjusted ENI was 51 cents per share, above analyst forecasts of 41 cents per share. Fee-earning assets under management grew from $109.5 billion in Q4 to $124 billion.

In the private equity group, underlying assets appreciated 4.9% during the quarter. The official investment period for BCP V closed in January, although still no word on if BCP VI has held a final close (it hadn’t as of two months ago). I’ll be sure to ask during a 9:30am media call, which I’ll cover live beginning at 9:30am (go here). Overall, the PE group had $16.9 billion in dry powder as of March 31.

Real estate outperformed private equity, but its dry powder is lower. Expect that to be rectified soon, since Blackstone is out raising a $10 billion real estate fund.

In an unrelated Blackstone note, the firm’s charitable foundation is underwriting a new entrepreneurship initiative in Research Triangle Park. Don’t know details yet, but a formal announcement is being made at a big event next week in Durham. Great news for North Carolina, although I wonder if Blackstone can manage to create one of the major impediments to RTP startups from getting VC funding: The total lack of nonstop flights from SFO to RDU…