Count The Carlyle Group among the public-traded PE firms to close 2017 with a flourish.
After Apollo Global Management and Blackstone posted stellar 4Q returns last week, Carlyle has announced earnings of $52.9 million for the final three months of 2017, or 49 cents per share, a major YoY improvement from a loss of $8.9 million in 4Q 2016. Those newest figures brought the firm's total 2017 earnings to $238 million, or $2.38 per common unit.
The buyout shop reported economic net income of $366 million, or $1.01 per share, trouncing reported analyst expectations of 62 cents per share thanks to carry fund appreciation of 5% for the quarter and 20% for the year. For the whole of 2017, Carlyle had ENI of $1.3 billion, or $3.47 per unit, which marked a staggering 315% annual increase. Carlyle's PE portfolio outpaced the S&P 500 during 4Q, gaining in value by 8% compared to 6.1% for the public stock index.
The positive results came during the final quarter as co-CEOs at Carlyle for co-founders David Rubenstein and William Conway, who gave way in January to new co-CEOs Kewsong Lee and Glenn Youngkin. Rubenstein and Conway have transitioned to the board of directors at the publicly traded firm, joining fellow co-founder Daniel D'Aniello.
They went out with a bang. For all of 2017, Carlyle raised $43 billion in new capital, to go with $26 billion in realized proceeds and $22 billion in new investments. The bulk of that new cash was collected during 4Q:
Fee-related earnings clocked in at $26.7 million during 4Q 2017, down from $108 million during 3Q but a major improvement from a loss of $132.4 million in 4Q 2016. Distributable earnings, meanwhile, were $155.8 million for the quarter, up from $7.4 million in the same period last year. Overall, the firm upped its AUM to $195 billion, a 24% YoY increase. Carlyle has already raised more than $13 billion for its latest buyout fund, which has a reported target of $15 billion.
Despite the firm's positive earnings, Carlyle's stock price closed Wednesday down about 1%, trading at $24.10 per share. During the past year, though, its share price has ticked steadily upward: It closed trading on February 7, 2017, at $17.15.
All in all, it wasn't a bad final year at the helm for Rubenstein and Conway. In fact, it might be the perfect time to get out. With the stock market suddenly volatile, valuations high and an increase in interest rates looming, 2017 may be hard to top.