The Blackstone Group L.P.
) achieved a new 52-week high, touching $35.30 in the last hour
of the trading session on Mar 10. The closing price of this asset
manager represents a year-to-date return of 12.5%. The trading
volume for the session was around 4.9 million shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)
stock has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate
revisions over the last 60 days.
Impressive fourth-quarter 2013 results that included an
improvement in assets under management (AUM), along with higher
performance fees, were the primary growth drivers for Blackstone.
On Jan 30, Blackstone reported fourth-quarter 2013 earnings at
$1.35 per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 81
cents. Notably, the Private Equity and Real Estate segments
performed remarkably well, given the favorable investment market
and the company's diversified footprint.
Blackstone's total revenue more than doubled in the reported
quarter to $2,693.2 million. However, operating expenses
increased significantly to $1,109.9 million.
Total AUM as of Dec 31, 2013 was $265.8 billion, up 26% year over
year. The growth was primarily driven by gross inflows and market
appreciation across all asset management segments.
Estimate Revisions Show Strength
Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014
advanced 1.3% to $3.01 per share while for 2015, it rose 8.8% to
$3.45 per share.
Some better-ranked asset managers worth considering include
Calamos Asset Management Inc.
Fortress Investment Group LLC
). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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