KKR earnings beat estimates, portfolio value up

By Megan Davies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - KKR & Co LP <KKR.N>, parent of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and the value of its private equity investments rose 6.5 percent.

KKR said it generated profits from taking a number of its portfolio companies public. During the quarter, KKR-backed Nielsen Holdings <NLSN.O> and HCA Holdings Inc <HCA.N> went public.

Economic net income, a measure used by private equity firms to report earnings, was $742.5 million for the first quarter, compared with $674.8 million a year earlier.

ENI after tax per adjusted unit was 96 cents, KKR said, up from 93 cents in the same period a year ago.

KKR said assets under management totaled $61.0 billion, up from $54.7 billion a year earlier. It will pay a first-quarter distribution of 21 cents per unit.

KKR trades at a multiple of about 6.4 times its 2010 economic net income. That compares with rival Blackstone Group LP <BX.N>, which trades about 14.8 times its 2010 economic net income and Apollo Global Management LLC <APO.N>, which trades at about 5.8 times.

(Reporting by Megan Davies, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman)