Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, July 21. The company is a global alternative-asset manager and a provider of financial-advisory services.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Blackstone Group, with six of nine rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts don't like Blackstone Group as much as competitor Lazard overall. That rating hasn't budged in three months, as analysts have remained steady in their opinion of the stock.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $1.02 billion in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 84.7% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.38 per share. Estimates range from $0.19 to $0.51.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock, with 84.2% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars, with 83.8% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about Blackstone Group and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 519 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of Blackstone Group, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
Blackstone Group's income has fallen year over year by an average of 71.2%. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Net Margin 3.5% (0.9%) (4.1%) (39.4%)
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