Blackstone Group, L.P. is seeing its shares, well units, trading up almost 2% pre-market on a day when DJIA futures have traded down over 100 points. The catalyst was the end of the broker quiet period, which allows analysts in the underwriting group to initiate coverage of the company.
Despite the fall-off in shares since its IPO, the analyst calls seen so far today are mostly positive. Banc of America, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank have all started the private equity firm with BUY ratings. Lehman and Morgan Stanley both initiated coverage with an Overweight rating. Wachovia initiated coverage with a Market Perform rating and a fair value between $25 to $26. That translates so far to essentially "5 Buys and 1 Hold" out of the coverage group.
There are certainly more analyst calls that have been made, and we’ll follow up on these as they come in. The end of the quiet period may have been one of the stabilizing factors for the stock. The credit markets haven’t loosened up their tight concerns in lending funds to private equity firms for what have become true LBO’s and it doesn’t take much to realize the markets have been weak for the last week and a half. Shares bottomed out last Thursday under $24.00 at $23.27 and are now at $24.42. Despite a poor performance since its IPO, this has been one of the standout gainers or stabile names out there. That is even more impressive when you consider the financial sector of late. Stay tuned as more analyst calls come in.
Jon C. Ogg
August 1, 2007
Jon Ogg can be reached at email@example.com; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.