KKR & Co. reported a loss for the first quarter after its biggest investment, in payments processor First Data Corp., lost a fifth of its value, highlighting the heightened exposure a private equity firm takes on when it bets its own money on a company.

The alternative-asset manager had a loss in economic net income, which reflects both realized and unrealized investment gains, of $553 million, or 65 cents a share, according to a statement Monday. That result, which is after-tax, compares with a $526 million profit in the same period last year and falls short of the average 33-cent loss expected by 15 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry