Brokerages Set Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) Price Target at $52.33

Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the seven brokerages that are covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $52.33.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of Lazard from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $53.00 to $58.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 30th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, September 29th.

Shares of NYSE:LAZ traded down $0.51 during trading on Thursday, hitting $45.83. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 283,581 shares, compared to its average volume of 623,007. The company has a 50-day moving average of $48.30 and a 200-day moving average of $47.07. Lazard has a 12 month low of $37.14 and a 12 month high of $53.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72, a current ratio of 1.79 and a quick ratio of 1.79. The firm has a market cap of $4.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.39 and a beta of 1.52.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 29th. The asset manager reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.03. Lazard had a net margin of 16.07% and a return on equity of 58.36%. The firm had revenue of $702.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $711.97 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.67 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 23.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Lazard will post 4.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 19th. Investors of record on Monday, November 8th were given a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 5th. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.10%. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is 42.63%.

In related news, CAO Scott D. Hoffman sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.20, for a total value of $1,155,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CAO Dominick Ragone sold 19,892 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.54, for a total transaction of $945,665.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in LAZ. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Lazard by 50.4% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 174,111 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $6,292,000 after acquiring an additional 58,375 shares during the period. Credit Suisse AG purchased a new position in Lazard during the first quarter valued at approximately $303,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its holdings in Lazard by 58.9% during the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 317,450 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $13,812,000 after buying an additional 117,672 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its holdings in Lazard by 1.7% during the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 40,064 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,741,000 after buying an additional 673 shares during the period. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings in Lazard by 48.2% during the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 156,723 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $6,818,000 after buying an additional 50,996 shares during the period. 75.68% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Lazard

Lazard Ltd. is a financial advisory and asset management firm, which engages in the provision of crafting solutions to the clients, including corporations, governments, institutions, partnerships, and individuals. It operates through the Financial Advisory and Asset Management segments. The Financial Advisory segment offers corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign, and individual clients, an array of financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, capital structure, capital raising, and corporate preparedness.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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