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April 20 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the world's largest manager of assets such as private equity and real estate, reported a 165 percent rise in first-quarter earnings on Thursday, as the value of its holdings soared and it cashed out on some of them.
Blackstone said economic net income (ENI) per share, a metric of its profitability which takes into account the mark-to-market valuation of its portfolio, came in at 82 cents versus 31 cents in the first quarter of 2016.
This surpassed the expectations of most research analysts, whose forecasts in a Thomson Reuters poll averaged 68 cents per share.
Distributable earnings, which show actual cash that is available to pay dividends, rose in the first quarter by 212 percent to $1.23 billion.
Total assets under management were $368.2 billion as of the end of March, up 7 percent year-on-year. Fee-earning assets under management rose 15 percent to $280.2 billion.
Blackstone declared a quarterly distribution of 87 cents per common unit. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)