Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $40.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Lazard's estimates have been stable lately ahead of its third-quarter 2016 earnings release. The company is well positioned to grow organically driven by improved performances of its Financial Advisory and Asset Management segments. Notably, management expects Advisory revenues to improve with a higher level of M&A closings during the second-half 2016. Further, implementation of cost- management initiatives continue to enhance profitability. Also, strong capital deployment activities help to improve shareholders’ confidence. However, Lazard's presence in major global markets exposes it to downturn in local economies. Moreover, heavy dependence on financial advisory revenue can hurt top line growth as associated fees fall when deals fail to mature.”
LAZ has been the subject of several other reports. Nomura reissued a buy rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. TheStreet upgraded Lazard to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG restated a buy rating on shares of Lazard in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $49.11.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) traded down 0.31% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $35.87. The stock had a trading volume of 204,815 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $36.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $35.08. The firm has a market cap of $4.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.78 and a beta of 2.20. Lazard has a 12-month low of $26.21 and a 12-month high of $49.57.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. The firm earned $542.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $542.68 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Lazard will post $2.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other Lazard news, General Counsel Scott D. Hoffman sold 42,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.92, for a total transaction of $1,466,640.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jane L. Mendillo bought 1,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $35.22 per share, for a total transaction of $49,308.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its position in Lazard by 50.6% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 3,454 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 1,160 shares during the last quarter. CI Investments Inc. boosted its position in Lazard by 60.6% in the second quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 1,334,068 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,729,000 after buying an additional 503,500 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in Lazard by 122.8% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 109,448 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,259,000 after buying an additional 60,325 shares during the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC acquired a new position in Lazard during the second quarter valued at about $176,000. Finally, Amalgamated Bank boosted its position in Lazard by 7.9% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 16,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $567,000 after buying an additional 1,175 shares during the last quarter.
Lazard Company Profile
Lazard Ltd (Lazard) is a financial advisory and asset management company. The Company operates in two business segments: Financial Advisory and Asset Management. The Financial Advisory business segment offers corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign and individual clients 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.
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