NEW YORK (AP) -- Reflecting gains in financial markets, investment manager KKR & Co. L.P.'s fourth-quarter profit grew as it marked up the value of the companies and other assets it owns, and earned more fees from them.
The New York-based company's profit more than doubled, totaling $96.7 million, or 36 cents per share, in the three months through Dec. 31. In the same months last year, profit came to $46.1 million, or 20 cents per share.
A separate profit measure preferred by the private equity industry, economic net income, rose 50 percent to $337.1 million, or 48 cents per share. ENI strips out some costs including charges for employee stock compensation connected to the 2010 IPO.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected 29 cents per share.
KKR's private equity business raises money from large investors such as pension funds and uses that money and debt financing to buy companies — often distressed public companies. It aims to profit by selling them later in an initial public offering of stock, or to other companies.
The rising stock market tends to make the companies' private equity holdings more valuable and makes it easier to profitably sell companies to the public market. Earnings in KKR's private equity division rose 62 percent to $177.8 million as the value of its investments increased and the company earned more money from those gains.
In recent years private equity firms have also diversified into lending to public companies, consulting, real estate and other businesses. KKR's profit from its public markets division, which invests in debt and stocks, more than tripled to $37.4 million from acquisitions and as it raised money from big investors.
The value of all the assets managed by KKR rose 28 percent to $75.5 billion.
Shares rose 33 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $18.11 in morning trading.
A rival private equity firm, Blackstone, also reported two weeks ago that its business got a big boost from the increasing value of its holdings.