CIBC World Markets Inc. lowered its holdings in Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) by 82.0% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 5,672 shares of the asset manager’s stock after selling 25,804 shares during the quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc.’s holdings in Lazard were worth $298,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in LAZ. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Lazard in the fourth quarter valued at $105,000. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Lazard by 9.0% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,701 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $172,000 after acquiring an additional 306 shares during the period. Oakbrook Investments LLC acquired a new stake in Lazard in the fourth quarter valued at $208,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Lazard in the third quarter valued at $221,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in Lazard by 18.4% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 4,843 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $225,000 after acquiring an additional 753 shares during the period. 73.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of research firms have commented on LAZ. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Nomura lifted their price target on Lazard from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. JMP Securities lifted their price target on Lazard from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “market outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Lazard from an “a-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $60.56.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $683.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $658.86 million. Lazard had a return on equity of 38.66% and a net margin of 9.40%. The business’s revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.13 EPS. research analysts forecast that Lazard Ltd will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th will be given a dividend of $0.116 per share. This represents a $0.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.86%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 9th. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.42%.
Lazard announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the asset manager to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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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