Lazard Ltd (LAZ) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”
Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $40.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 11.27% from the stock’s previous close.
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.”
Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Lazard to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 18th. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Lazard in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price objective on shares of Lazard in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $49.11.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) traded up 1.11% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $36.35. 422,499 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $36.55 and its 200 day moving average price is $35.07. The company has a market cap of $4.52 billion, a PE ratio of 6.88 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 released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $542.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $542.68 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. Lazard’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Lazard will post $2.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related 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 shares were sold at an average price of $34.92, for a total transaction of $1,466,640.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jane L. Mendillo acquired 1,400 shares of Lazard stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $35.22 per share, with a total value of $49,308.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its position in Lazard by 5.3% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 7,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $290,000 after buying an additional 379 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in Lazard by 151.8% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 5,750 shares of the company’s stock valued at $223,000 after buying an additional 3,466 shares during the period. CIBC World Markets Inc. raised its position in Lazard by 63.1% in the first quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 22,956 shares of the company’s stock valued at $891,000 after buying an additional 8,884 shares during the period. Ngam Advisors L.P. purchased a new position in Lazard during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,375,000. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its position in Lazard by 1.8% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,433,791 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,631,000 after buying an additional 25,123 shares during the period.
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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