Cetera Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund purchased 4,190 shares of the asset manager’s stock, valued at approximately $221,000.
Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Denali Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Lazard in the 4th quarter worth $105,000. First Dallas Securities Inc. bought a new position in shares of Lazard in the 4th quarter worth $127,000. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Lazard by 9.0% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,701 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $172,000 after buying an additional 306 shares during the last quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC bought a new position in shares of Lazard in the 4th quarter worth $208,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Lazard in the 3rd quarter worth $221,000. 69.80% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of brokerages have recently commented on LAZ. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price target on shares of Lazard in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Nomura increased their target price on shares of Lazard from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. JMP Securities increased their target price on shares of Lazard from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “market outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Lazard from an “a-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $60.56.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $683.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $658.86 million. Lazard had a net margin of 9.40% and a return on equity of 38.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.13 EPS. research analysts forecast that Lazard Ltd will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 12th will be given a dividend of $0.116 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 9th. This represents a $0.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.84%. Lazard’s payout ratio is currently 85.42%.
Lazard announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the asset manager to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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