Lazard (LAZ) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $57.00 price objective on the asset manager’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 9.28% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Lazard have outperformed the industry over the past six months. This price performance was backed by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company is well positioned to grow organically, driven by strength in its Financial Advisory and Asset Management segments. Notably, in 2016, Lazard acquired Verus Partners and the remaining stake in MBA Lazard, to fortify its financial advisory business footprint across America. However, its dependence on local and global economic conditions for revenue generation and regulatory pressure can hurt top-line growth in the near term. Nevertheless, focus on cost management will likely enhance the company’s profitability.”

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LAZ has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Nomura raised Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $46.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Lazard in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. Goldman Sachs raised Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Instinet raised Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, JMP Securities upped their price objective on Lazard from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “market outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.00.

Lazard (NYSE LAZ) traded up $1.39 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $52.16. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 540,473 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,015,085. Lazard has a one year low of $40.50 and a one year high of $60.00. The company has a quick ratio of 1.91, a current ratio of 1.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,588.23, a PE ratio of 28.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.81.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.20. Lazard had a return on equity of 38.93% and a net margin of 9.40%. The business had revenue of $683.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $658.86 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.13 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Lazard will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CAO Scott D. Hoffman sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.13, for a total value of $781,950.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 147,341 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,680,886.33. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 15,160 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.47, for a total value of $810,605.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 276,886 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,805,094.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 95,320 shares of company stock worth $5,053,854 in the last three months. 2.76% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LAZ. LSV Asset Management grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 2.4% during the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,839,794 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $201,589,000 after purchasing an additional 91,021 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 150.2% during the fourth quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,687,586 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $88,598,000 after purchasing an additional 1,013,087 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,680,000 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $88,200,000 after purchasing an additional 194,000 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 2.6% during the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 1,673,954 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $87,883,000 after purchasing an additional 42,381 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 10.3% during the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 1,350,662 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $70,907,000 after purchasing an additional 126,351 shares during the last quarter. 71.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Lazard Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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