UPDATE 1-Blackstone's second-quarter earnings more than triple
* Total assets under management up 21 pct to $230 bln
* Q1 ENI 62 cents/share vs Street view 49 cents
* Q2 distributable earnings up 73 pct to $338 mln
July 18 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the largest alternative asset manager, said on Thursday that second-quarter earnings more than tripled as the value of its funds rose and it cashed out on parts of its portfolio, including SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.
Despite market jitters in the second half of the quarter over the Federal Reserve ending its bond buying program, Blackstone's private equity and real estate funds appreciated more than 5 percent, while its hedge and credit funds posted strong gains.
Blackstone, whose investments include The Weather Channel, Hilton Worldwide and Pinnacle Foods, reported economic net income (ENI) of $703 million, up from $212 million a year ago. ENI takes into account changes in the market value of its funds.
The result was better than most analysts expected. ENI was 62 cents per share versus the average analyst projection of 49 cents, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
"Robust realizations allowed us to generate significant returns for our fund investors and higher distributable earnings for our unitholders," Blackstone Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman said in a statement.
Distributable earnings, which show cash available to pay dividends, rose 73 percent to $338 million.
Assets under management totaled $230 billion at the end of June, up 21 percent year on year. Fee-earning assets under management rose 12 percent to $176 billion.
Blackstone declared a second-quarter distribution of 23 cents per common unit.
Shares rose 2.5 percent to $22.50 in premarket trading.