Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Carrier downgraded Blackstone Group Inc. over expectations of a more typical level of fundraising ahead and the potential for slightly lower-than-expected realizations if macro/geopolitical risks linger.
While Blackstone is the best-positioned alternative asset manager over the long term, "sometimes great companies like [Blackstone] shift from being great stocks to decent stocks," as catalysts like c-corp conversion and a fund-raising supercycle are now in the rearview mirror.
The company kicked off its fund-raising super cycle in mid-2018 that targeted $500 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2019. Its total AUM rose 24% year over year to $545 billion in the second quarter.
Carrier lowered his rating on Blackstone to "neutral" from "buy."