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Jefferies upgrades Carlyle Group following strong performance, fundraising

Jefferies analyst Gerald O'Hara has upgraded Carlyle Group LP to "buy" from "hold" after the company's strong year in performance and fundraising.

O'Hara told investors in a Feb. 14 research note that a successful 2017 has opened an attractive entry point for the company's stock. He noted that the company is at the midway point of a $100 billion fundraising cycle that will boost fee-related earnings.

Carlyle's scale and earnings are poised to benefit from the expansion of the global credit platform, O'Hara wrote. He sees continued growth for the company's incentive income, which is needed to counter lower-than-peer group base management fee margins. He also believes that the company's net accrued performance fees will continue to trend upward.

The analyst raised his price target for Carlyle to $27 from $23. He also raised his EPS estimates to $2.91 from $2.69 for 2018 and to $3.22 from $2.93 for 2019.