Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) Trading 5.8% Higher After Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ)’s stock price traded up 5.8% during mid-day trading on Friday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The company traded as high as $30.06 and last traded at $29.32, 1,572,372 shares changed hands during trading. An increase of 91% from the average session volume of 821,529 shares. The stock had previously closed at $27.70.

The asset manager reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.31. The firm had revenue of $572.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $513.36 million. Lazard had a return on equity of 52.29% and a net margin of 9.89%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 21st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 10th will be issued a $0.47 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 7th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.41%. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 57.32%.

Several research analysts have recently commented on the company. Cfra lifted their price objective on Lazard from $22.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 1st. Argus decreased their price objective on Lazard from $51.00 to $35.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 6th. UBS Group lifted their price objective on Lazard from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, May 4th. JMP Securities reduced their price target on Lazard from $50.00 to $40.00 and set a “market outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 9th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on Lazard from $39.00 to $28.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $35.44.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Cutler Group LP grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 2,307.7% during the 2nd quarter. Cutler Group LP now owns 1,435 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $41,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares during the period. CWM Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Lazard during the 1st quarter worth approximately $39,000. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new position in shares of Lazard during the 4th quarter worth approximately $85,000. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 49.6% during the 1st quarter. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC now owns 2,955 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $70,000 after acquiring an additional 980 shares during the period. Finally, Sunbelt Securities Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Lazard during the 4th quarter worth approximately $226,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.89% of the company’s stock.

The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $28.61 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $31.23. The company has a current ratio of 1.69, a quick ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.12. The stock has a market cap of $3.08 billion, a PE ratio of 13.45 and a beta of 1.77.

Lazard Company Profile (NYSE:LAZ)

Lazard Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm worldwide. Its Financial Advisory segment offers various financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions and other strategic matters, restructurings, capital structure, capital raising, shareholder advisory, and various other financial matters.

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