October 29, 2019 / 11:11 AM / 16 days ago

KKR's Q3 earnings slide 23% as weaker deal activity hits revenue

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR & Co reported a 23% year-on-year drop in its third-quarter, after-tax distributable profit on Tuesday, as transaction fee revenue slid amid a broader slowdown in asset sales by buyout firms chasing lofty valuations.

KKR said after-tax distributable earnings - the cash available for paying dividends - fell to $388.8 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $496.7 million a year earlier.

Still, KKR's after-tax distributable earnings per share of 46 cents surpassed the average analyst forecast of 42 cents per share, according to Refinitiv.

Many private equity firms, including KKR, have sold fewer companies this year, even though the U.S. stock market is hovering near all-time highs, as potential acquirers balk at their valuation expectations. This has weighed on the income they generate from the lucrative fees accompanying such transactions.

Blackstone Group Inc, the world's largest private equity firm, also reported a decline in its distributable earnings last week, of 8%.

During the third quarter, KKR-backed U.S. entertainment and talent agency Endeavor Group Holdings postponed a plan to raise $400 million in an initial public offering (IPO) due to weak market demand for the loss-making firm - a move that hit KKR's capital markets business, which had underwritten the IPO.

KKR said total assets under management climbed to $208 billion, up 7% from a year ago. (Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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