Blackstone Group (BX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Blackstone have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company remains well positioned to capitalize on its fund-raising ability. Moreover, benefit from revenue mix and persistent asset inflows will support its profitability in the future. Further, the company's inorganic growth efforts remain impressive and will aid financials. However, mounting expenses mainly due to higher compensation and benefits costs are likely to hurt bottom-line growth. Also, the adverse effects of the ongoing volatility in the capital markets remains a major near-term concern for the company.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. JMP Securities raised their price objective on Blackstone Group from $39.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Citigroup raised their price objective on Blackstone Group from $41.50 to $43.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a buy rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of Blackstone Group in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their target price on Blackstone Group from $48.00 to $47.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Blackstone Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 4th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $43.54.

NYSE:BX traded up $0.26 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $34.85. 4,303,749 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,545,013. The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. Blackstone Group has a one year low of $29.57 and a one year high of $40.60. The stock has a market cap of $25.41 billion, a PE ratio of 12.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.32.

Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 19th. The asset manager reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.17. Blackstone Group had a return on equity of 22.64% and a net margin of 22.12%. The business had revenue of $2.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.74 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.59 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 71.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Blackstone Group will post 3.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Vice Chairman J Tomilson Hill sold 81,420 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.95, for a total value of $2,927,049.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 928,884 shares in the company, valued at approximately $33,393,379.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John G. Finley sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.98, for a total value of $179,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 113,003 shares in the company, valued at $4,065,847.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 770,677 shares of company stock worth $28,061,444 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BX. CIBC Asset Management Inc grew its holdings in shares of Blackstone Group by 6.5% during the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 23,365 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $752,000 after purchasing an additional 1,421 shares in the last quarter. Syntal Capital Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Blackstone Group by 5.8% during the second quarter. Syntal Capital Partners LLC now owns 29,039 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $934,000 after purchasing an additional 1,593 shares in the last quarter. Aviance Capital Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Blackstone Group by 4.8% during the second quarter. Aviance Capital Partners LLC now owns 34,623 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,600 shares in the last quarter. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Blackstone Group by 4.8% during the second quarter. Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. now owns 35,092 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,129,000 after purchasing an additional 1,619 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wealthstreet Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Blackstone Group by 5.4% during the second quarter. Wealthstreet Investment Advisors LLC now owns 33,155 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,067,000 after purchasing an additional 1,705 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 48.75% of the company’s stock.

Blackstone Group Company Profile

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned hedge fund sponsor. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural, and charitable organizations, retirees, sovereign wealth funds, and institutional and individual investors.

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