Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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, persistent asset inflows and inorganic growth efforts will support its profitability in the future. However, mounting expenses are likely to hurt bottom-line growth to some extent. Also, the adverse effects of the ongoing volatility in the capital markets remains a major near-term concern for the company.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on BX. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on Blackstone Group from $41.00 to $40.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price objective on shares of Blackstone Group in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price objective on shares of Blackstone Group in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Oppenheimer set a $42.00 price objective on Blackstone Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price target on Blackstone Group from $41.50 to $43.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Blackstone Group has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.45.

NYSE:BX traded down $0.31 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $38.73. 103,572 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,222,313. The firm has a market capitalization of $26.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.37. Blackstone Group has a 52 week low of $29.57 and a 52 week high of $40.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a current ratio of 0.97.

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

In other news, insider John G. Finley sold 5,000 shares of Blackstone Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.98, for a total value of $179,900.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 113,003 shares in the company, valued at $4,065,847.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Vice Chairman J Tomilson Hill sold 674,257 shares of Blackstone Group stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.48, for a total value of $24,596,895.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 928,884 shares in the company, valued at approximately $33,885,688.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 770,677 shares of company stock valued at $28,061,444. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BX. Quad Cities Investment Group LLC purchased a new position in Blackstone Group during the 2nd quarter valued at about $122,000. Archford Capital Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Blackstone Group during the 1st quarter valued at about $147,000. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Blackstone Group during the 1st quarter valued at about $154,000. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group increased its holdings in Blackstone Group by 94.9% during the 2nd quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 4,850 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $156,000 after purchasing an additional 2,362 shares during the period. Finally, Atlas Capital Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Blackstone Group by 72.4% during the 2nd quarter. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC now owns 5,000 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $179,000 after purchasing an additional 2,100 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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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