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Blackstone posts third-quarter loss as asset values drop

[NEW YORK] Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest alternative asset manager, reported a third-quarter economic net loss on Thursday as the stock market plunge weighed on the value of its portfolio, though it generated more cash through asset sales.

Blackstone said economic net income (ENI), a metric of its profitability that takes into account the mark-to-market valuation of its portfolio, was a loss of US$416 million in the quarter, versus a US$758.4 million profit a year ago.

This translated into a negative ENI per share of 35 cents, more than the average 29 cents forecast by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Distributable earnings, which show actual cash that is available to pay dividends, rose 1 per cent year-on-year to US$692 million.

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Total assets under management were a record US$333.9 billion as of the end of September, up 17 per cent year-on-year.

Blackstone declared a quarterly distribution of 49 cents per common unit.