Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were narrowly higher, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising about 0.1% and the S&P Financial 100 Index advancing about 0.1%.
In company news, Blackstone ( BX ) equity units rose to a record high Thursday after the publicly traded private-equity firm breezed past Wall Street estimates with its Q1 financial results.
Net income during the three months ended March 31 grew to $629 million, or $1.01 per unit, up from $266 million, or $0.44 per share during the same period last year. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.37 per share, topping the analyst consensus by $0.33 per share.
Revenue rose 66.3% over year-ago levels to $2.51 billion, exceeding estimates by around $490 million. Total assets under management to $310 billion, a 14% increase year over year.
The company also declared a Q1 distribution of $0.89 per unit, up 154% over its year-ago distribution and payable May 4.
BX units were up about 2% at $41.73 each, earlier rising to a best-ever $42.25 per unit. Prior to Thursday's advance, the stock already had risen more than 29% over the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(+) FCFS, (+3.3%) Q1 EPS of $0.59 tops Capital IQ consensus by $0.01 per share. Revenue rose 3.7% over last year to $176 mln, roughly in-line with $176.62 mln consensus. Reaffirms FY15 guidance expecting EPS of $2.75 to $2.90, straddling Street view looking for $2.82 per share.
(-) WAFD, (-0.9%) Reduced to Neutral from Buy in a downgrade at DA Davidson.
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