Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its position in shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 20.3% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 24,903 shares of the asset manager’s stock after buying an additional 4,208 shares during the period. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC’s holdings in Lazard were worth $1,154,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. CENTRAL TRUST Co increased its position in Lazard by 558.7% in the first quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 3,537 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $163,000 after buying an additional 3,000 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. bought a new position in Lazard during the first quarter worth approximately $204,000. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp bought a new position in Lazard during the first quarter worth approximately $207,000. King Wealth Management Group LLC bought a new position in Lazard during the first quarter worth approximately $207,000. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. bought a new position in Lazard during the first quarter worth approximately $212,000. 73.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) opened at 43.14 on Friday. Lazard Ltd. has a 52 week low of $33.48 and a 52 week high of $48.86. The firm has a market cap of $5.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.22 and a beta of 1.84. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $46.29 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.76.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The asset manager reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $720.16 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $627.12 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.61 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 32.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Lazard Ltd. will post $3.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 7th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.80%. Lazard’s payout ratio is currently 46.46%.

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A number of research firms recently commented on LAZ. ValuEngine raised Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub raised Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 7th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Lazard in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Lazard in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $46.89.

In other Lazard 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 value of $4,032,900.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, General Counsel Scott D. Hoffman sold 35,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.13, for a total value of $1,579,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 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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