Blackstone Takes A Beating

Perhaps the NYSE should consider closing its trading floor at 3pm, since that seems to be the witching hour for massive selloffs. I’d bet Steve Schwarzman and Tony James might endorse that proposal, given that Blackstone Group stock closed the day at a piddling $5.10 per share.

That’s the lowest-ever closing price for Blackstone shares, and is off 83.5% from its $31 per share IPO price in June 2007. It’s even off nearly 30% from the $7.23 per share Blackstone public markets director Joan Solotar paid for 20,000 shares just six days ago. Brutal. Just brutal.

Other PE-related firms are also struggling mightily on the public markets, whether they be semi-hedgies like Fortress and Och-Ziff or business development companies like Allied Capital and American Capital. But Blackstone is the biggest name on the block, and it’s being treated as if it were Wall Street royalty (sarcasm intended).

People have been writing about a Blackstone take-private ever since the day it priced, but you’ve got to wonder how much lower its stock can go before the firm buys back at least some of its shares. Like with interest rates, there isn’t too much lower for it to go.