Apollo quarterly earnings flat, slightly missing analyst estimates

(Reuters) - Apollo Global Management LLC APO.N reported flat third-quarter earnings on Thursday, slightly missing analysts' expectations, as declines in its private equity and real estate businesses offset strong growth in its credit investments unit.

Apollo said its third-quarter after-tax distributable earnings per share came in at 54 cents, unchanged from a year earlier, and lower than the average analyst forecast of 57 cents, according to Refinitiv.

Frothy valuations have made negotiations between sellers and buyers of private equity-owned companies challenging, hindering the ability of buyout firms such as Apollo to cash out of their holdings at the same clip as last year.

Last week, Blackstone Group Inc BX.N, the world's largest private equity firm, reported a decline in its third-quarter distributable earnings, largely due to a drop in asset sales in its private equity business. Carlyle Group CG.O and KKR & Co Inc KKR.N also reported a fall in distributable earnings.

Apollo’s private equity funds appreciated 3.6% in the third quarter. By comparison, Blackstone’s and Carlyle’s private equity funds appreciated by 2.6% and 1%, respectively.

Apollo said its distributable earnings from credit business rose 20%, while its income from private equity declined during the quarter, driven by an 18% drop in performance fees.

On Monday, Apollo said it had agreed a $1.6 billion deal to raise its stake in U.S. reinsurer Athene Holding Ltd ATH.N and eliminate the multi-class share structure of the Bermuda-based company. The deal aims to boost Athene's stock, which had underperformed compared to its peers since an IPO in 2016.

Apollo’s total assets under management grew to $322.7 billion as of the end of June, from $311.9 billion three months earlier.

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum