As bad as things are for public private equity firm Blackstone (BX), things continue to look worse. In its earnings announcement, the company warned that it may have to cut its dividend in future quarters, as losses continue to pile up. Its economic net loss in the quarter was $509 million, compared to a profit of $99 million a year ago.
Like the rest of the financial world, the company is now playing up its stable, low-margin lines, like financial advisory — revenue up 91% to $160.7 million!
Heidi Moore at Deal Journal liveblogged the 9:30 call, where the company offered up a few more positive comments:
9:36: How did the hedge fund business do? “Negative revenues of $48 million,” which reflects declines in values across asset classes in the quarter. If you’re wondering how a firm can have negative revenues, it’s largely due to Blackstone’s bete noire, mark-to-market accounting.
9:37: Corporate restructuring, which advises on bankruptcy, had revenues of $161 million.
9:38: “We believe our balance sheet can withstand an extremely challenging environment,” James explains.
9:39: 75% of portfolio investments are running ahead of last year, in terms of Ebitda. 60% of Blackstone’s debt has no appreciable covenants, and the first appreciable maturities are in 2013.
9:40: Blackstone is in the “enviable” position of being a buyer of assets. If they do say so themselves.
Shares are currently down over 11%.
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