Lots of us speculated at the time that Blackstone's IPO was rather talented timing. Others claimed the IPO of a LBO firm was a bit of tricky hypocrisy. (If public markets are so awful, why are you gleefully availing yourself of their capital, hmmm?) We never bought that bit of rhetorical spin, though.
For the top timing to have been the perfection we have come to expect from the top of the capitalist pig food chain, enough time to drain large hunks of the equity off into cash (Mark Cuban, we are glaring at you) and substantially diversify before the slow but steady slide eats away so much unrealized wealth that you might as well have stayed private. Sure, restricted shares and lock-ins make that tougher now than it was in Cuban's day, but you see the point, surely.
Blackstone has been bleeding away value effectively since the IPO. To such an extent, in fact, that the regularity of their price slide defies the conventional wisdom that there are no straight lines in nature.
The only real surprise is that anyone bought their "break even" estimates. Hope springs eternal.
Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest private-equity firm, posted the biggest quarterly loss in 18 months as a public company as the financial crisis eroded the value of the businesses and real estate it has acquired.
The loss was $502.5 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a profit of $234 million, or 21 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Blackstone had been expected to break even, based on the average estimate of seven analysts in a Bloomberg survey.