Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Lazard have outperformed the industry over the past six months. This price performance was backed by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company is well positioned to grow organically, driven by strength in its Financial Advisory and Asset Management segments. Notably, in 2016, Lazard acquired Verus Partners and the remaining stake in MBA Lazard, to fortify its financial advisory business footprint across America. Further, focus on cost management will likely enhance the company’s profitability. However, its dependence on local and global economic conditions for revenue generation and regulatory pressure can hurt top-line growth in the near term.”
A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on LAZ. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Nomura boosted their target price on shares of Lazard from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. JMP Securities boosted their target price on shares of Lazard from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “market outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. TheStreet cut shares of Lazard from an “a-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Sandler O’Neill reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $60.56.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $683.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $658.86 million. Lazard had a net margin of 9.40% and a return on equity of 38.93%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.13 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Lazard will post 3.99 EPS for the current year.
In related news, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 15,160 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.47, for a total transaction of $810,605.20. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 276,886 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,805,094.42. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 65,160 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.12, for a total transaction of $3,461,299.20. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 276,886 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,708,184.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 95,320 shares of company stock worth $5,053,854 over the last 90 days. 2.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. MRJ Capital Inc. bought a new stake in Lazard during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $3,803,000. Alps Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Lazard during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $512,000. Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management bought a new stake in Lazard during the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,569,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. increased its holdings in Lazard by 3.7% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 507,906 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $22,966,000 after acquiring an additional 18,186 shares during the period. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH bought a new stake in Lazard during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $2,415,000. 71.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Lazard Company Profile
Lazard Ltd (Lazard) is a financial advisory and asset management company. The Company operates through two segments: Financial Advisory and Asset Management. It serves a range of clients around the world, including corporations, governments, institutions, partnerships and individuals. The Financial Advisory business segment offers corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign and individual clients across the globe a range of financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other strategic matters, restructurings, capital structure, capital raising and various other financial matters to corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign and individual clients.
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