NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group L.P. posted sharply lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday after taking losses on a hedge fund business that it has since exited.
Carlyle said it had earned economic net income, a key metric for U.S. private equity firms that accounts for unrealized gains or losses in investments, of $6.4 million after taxes.
That translated to earnings of 2 cents per share, down from 24 cents a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected 41 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Obviously we are disappointed with the losses in our hedge fund business," Carlyle Chief Executive Officer David Rubenstein said in a statement. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)