Category: Financial Advisory
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Buoyed by gains in its private equity and financial advisory units, Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) performed better than Wall Street expected in the fourth quarter, despite annual drops in earnings and revenue.

The New York-based alternate asset management and financial services company earned $1.25 a share, off 7.4% from a year earlier, but beating by 33 cents estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue fell 20.6% from Q4 2013 to $2.1 billion, beating views of $1.8 billion.

Economic income in Blackstones private equity unit more than doubled to $1.82 billion in 2014 from $715.4 million during the previous year. The companys financial advisory segment, which soon will be spun off, posted a 52.3% yearly gain to $115.3 million for the year.

Meanwhile, economic income in Blackstones real estate unit dropped 9.1% from its 2013 results to $1.8 billion last year. Its credit units economic income sagged 7.7% to $330.7 million in 2014.

Blackstones fund activity generated $2.7 billion in performance fees last year, up 91% from 2013.

Assets under management reached $290.4 billion on Dec. 31, a 9% increase from a year earlier. Fee-earning assets under management rose 9% to $216.7 billion.

Performance fees slid 22% from the fourth quarter of 2013 to $1.32 billion.

The company announced that it will pay a record dividend of 78 cents for Q4, up from 58 cents a year earlier.

Shares fell 1.1% in morning trade but mostly had recovered by early afternoon to 36.67, off 0.2%, in the stock market today. It currently has an IBD Composite Rating of 90, which means that Blackstone shares perform better than 90% of other publicly traded businesses. Blackstone shares closed Wednesday at 36.74, a record high for the company. The companys stock gained 8.2% last year.

Follow Ciaran McEvoy on Twitter: @CiaranJMcEvoy.