Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ reduced its position in shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 4.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 92,380 shares of the asset manager’s stock after selling 4,111 shares during the period. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ’s holdings in Lazard were worth $4,280,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Lazard by 4.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,216,558 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $469,860,000 after buying an additional 397,075 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Lazard by 68,589.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,603,906 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $349,704,000 after buying an additional 7,592,836 shares during the period. WCM Investment Management CA raised its position in Lazard by 6.2% in the first quarter. WCM Investment Management CA now owns 6,161,175 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $283,353,000 after buying an additional 359,974 shares during the period. Westpac Banking Corp purchased a new position in Lazard during the first quarter worth $103,532,000. Finally, Blue Harbour Group L.P. raised its position in Lazard by 23.4% in the first quarter. Blue Harbour Group L.P. now owns 1,720,041 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $79,105,000 after buying an additional 326,683 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.67% of the company’s stock.

Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) opened at 45.50 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $5.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.89 and a beta of 1.84. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $46.47 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.63. Lazard Ltd. has a 1-year low of $33.48 and a 1-year high of $48.86.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The asset manager reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.18. Lazard had a return on equity of 39.33% and a net margin of 17.39%. The business had revenue of $720.16 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $627.12 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 32.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Lazard Ltd. will post $3.60 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.60%. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.46%.

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Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $46.89.

In related news, CFO Matthieu Bucaille sold 90,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.81, for a total transaction of $4,032,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 65,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.75, for a total value of $2,908,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 190,000 shares of company stock valued at $8,521,200 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

About Lazard

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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