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The Blackstone Group LP (BX) Stephen A. Schwarzman on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Q1 2016 Earnings Call

April 21, 2016 11:00 am ET

Executives

Weston M. Tucker - Managing Director-External Relations & Strategy & Head of Investor Relations, The Blackstone Group L.P.

Stephen A. Schwarzman - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Michael S. Chae - Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer

Hamilton E. James - President, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Analysts

Glenn Schorr - Evercore ISI

Michael Roger Carrier - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Patrick Davitt - Autonomous Research US LP

Craig Siegenthaler - Credit Suisse Securities (NYSE:USA) LLC (Broker)

William Raymond Katz - Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (Broker)

Eric Berg - RBC Capital Markets LLC

Brian B. Bedell - Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.

Michael S. Kim - Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP

Michael J. Cyprys - Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

Kenneth B. Worthington - JPMorgan Securities LLC

Devin P. Ryan - JMP Securities LLC

Alexander Blostein - Goldman Sachs & Co.

Kenneth W. Hill - Barclays Capital, Inc.

Chris C. Shutler - William Blair & Co. LLC

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Blackstone First Quarter 2016 Investor Conference Call. My name is Frances and I will be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, to Mr. Weston Tucker, Head of Investor Relations. You may begin, sir.

Weston M. Tucker - Managing Director-External Relations & Strategy & Head of Investor Relations, The Blackstone Group L.P.

Great. Thanks, Frances. So, good morning and welcome to Blackstone's first quarter 2016 conference call. I'm today joined by Steve Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO; Tony James, President and Chief Operating Officer; Michael Chae, our Chief Financial Officer; and Joan Solotar, Head of Multi-Asset Investing and External Relations.

Earlier this morning, we issued a press release and slide presentation illustrating our results, which are available on our website. We expect to file our 10-Q report in a few weeks.

I'd like to remind you that today's call may include forward-looking statements, which are uncertain and outside of the firm's control and may differ from actual results materially. We do not undertake any duty to update these statements. For a discussion of some of the risks that could affect the firm's results, please see the Risk Factors section of our 10-K report. We will also refer to non-GAAP measures on this call and you'll reconciliations in the press release.

Also, note that nothing on this call constitutes an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any Blackstone funds. This audio cast is copyrighted material of Blackstone, may not be duplicated without consent.

So, a quick recap of our results. We reported Economic Net Income or ENI of $0.31 per unit for the first quarter that was down from the prior year period, which was a record quarter, due to a lower rate of appreciation in the funds, although still mostly positive, despite the more difficult market environment.

Distributable Earnings were $388 million in the first quarter or $0.33 per common unit for a $0.28 per unit distribution. That will be paid to holders of record as of May 2.

And with that, I'll now turn the call over to Steve.

Stephen A. Schwarzman - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Good morning and thanks, Weston. And thank you all for joining our call. The first quarter was a roller-coaster for equity and debt markets. The S&P was down 11% only six weeks into the year, with many individual stocks down more than that, making the worst start to the year for equities since the Great Depression. In fact, if it would have kept going at that rate after a year, there would have been no S&P Index left.