Carlyle Group beats expectations, profit drops 79%

Carlyle Group co-founder and CEO David Rubenstein.
Thomson Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Wednesday as gains in its buyout and real estate investments offset losses in other areas including the energy market.

Carlyle earned an economic net income (ENI) of $89 million before taxes, down 68 percent compared with a year earlier but still beating market expectations.

That translated into 18 cents of ENI per share after taxes, compared with analyst forecasts for 12 cents per share.

ENI is a crucial performance measure for U.S. private equity firms as it accounts for unrealized gains or losses in investments.

Carlyle’s profit of $8.4 million was down 79% from $39.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Known for multi-billion-dollar corporate takeovers that were all the rage before the 2008 global financial crisis, the U.S. private equity industry has had a slow start this year as investor aversion to risk reduced financing for buyouts.

(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing Editing by W Simon)