Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) Short Interest Down 8.1% in October

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Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) saw a large decrease in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 14,900,000 shares, a decrease of 8.1% from the September 30th total of 16,210,000 shares. Currently, 2.3% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 6,400,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.3 days.

A number of research firms have commented on BX. S&P Equity Research lowered Blackstone Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 24th. Bank of America lowered Blackstone Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $54.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Monday, October 14th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $60.00 price target (up previously from $57.00) on shares of Blackstone Group in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Oppenheimer lowered Blackstone Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on Blackstone Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 1st. They set an “outperform” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.63.

Shares of NYSE:BX opened at $52.52 on Monday. Blackstone Group has a 52-week low of $26.88 and a 52-week high of $55.17. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.24, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.47. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $50.00 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.66. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 1.05.

Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The asset manager reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.05. Blackstone Group had a return on equity of 7.61% and a net margin of 27.05%. The firm had revenue of $1.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.63 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 9.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Blackstone Group will post 2.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 4th were given a $0.49 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 1st. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.73%. This is a positive change from Blackstone Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. Blackstone Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 86.73%.

In other Blackstone Group news, insider Joan Solotar sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.83, for a total transaction of $1,345,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 235,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,693,275.49. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Blackstone Group Inc purchased 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 21st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $8.37 per share, with a total value of $837,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 576,000 shares of company stock valued at $5,742,930 and have sold 16,887,858 shares valued at $589,315,400. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in BX. Cypress Capital Management LLC WY bought a new position in Blackstone Group during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Burt Wealth Advisors bought a new position in Blackstone Group during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in Blackstone Group during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Centaurus Financial Inc. increased its position in Blackstone Group by 194.0% during the 1st quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 1,035 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 683 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hartford Financial Management Inc. bought a new position in Blackstone Group during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $30,000. 48.09% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Blackstone Group

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a publicly owned alternative asset manager. The firm also provides capital markets 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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