I don't understand the BX dividend. I thought the policy was a small quarterly divy until March when the big one comes in, reflecting annual net. In March 2010 and March 2011 it was 30 cents and change. Now we're not getting the big divvy, but the media seems to characterize the 22 cent divvy as a big increase relative to the 10 cents given the last 3 quarters. Has the pattern changed? Now we get teh same divvy for 4 quarters? Was this adequately reported?
The dividend is 10c per quarter for the first three quarters. The fourth quarter dividend is the 10c plus profit sharing depending on how the year went. Considering the market was flat last year, the aspect of their business that takes profits from investing and IPOs produced a loss in the 3rd quarter which wiped out the gains of the first two quarters (most of our own portfolios did the same). The 30c dividend was something the company stated they would do for a limited time after the company IPO. Blackstone didn't want to constantly change the dividend every quarter based on performance, so they came up with the 10c strategy. A portion of the profits will be invested internally (like with a regular company); ie. in future PE funds. In this manner they hope to smooth out the ups and downs of the PE business and capture more profits for shareowners and rely less on gathering funds from institutional investors.