Fortress states fourth-quarter loss

Fortress Investment Group, the first U.S. private equity and hedge fund company to go public, reported a fourth-quarter loss due to higher compensation costs.

The company, which had $33.2 billion in fee paying assets at the end of the year, reported a loss of $29 million, or 43 cents per share. A year ago, the company earned $290 million. Fortress did not provide per-share data for the year-ago periods, saying a restructuring in January 2007 makes a comparison meaningless.

Excluding the principal compensation payment and other items, profit fell to $78 million, or 18 cents per share, from $138 million a year ago.

Revenue fell to $304 million from $488 million the year before. Segment revenue came in at $196 million, with management fees accounting for $129 million.

For the year, the company swung to a loss of $59.8 million, or $2.14 per share, and revenue dropped to $1.24 billion from $1.52 billion in 2006.

Shares rose 29 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $11.30 in premarket trading. The stock closed at $11.01 on Monday.

Fortress Investment Group is a New York, NY-based asset management firm which manages private equity, hedge funds, and real estate and railroad-related investments, with announced plans to move into casinos and horse racing. The company went public on February 9, 2007.