SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 148.9% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 9,628 shares of the asset manager’s stock after acquiring an additional 5,760 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC’s holdings in Lazard were worth $435,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Commerce Bank bought a new position in Lazard during the third quarter valued at approximately $587,000. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new position in Lazard during the third quarter valued at approximately $834,000. Cypress Capital Management LLC WY bought a new position in Lazard during the third quarter valued at approximately $419,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Lazard during the third quarter valued at approximately $221,000. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale grew its position in Lazard by 1.1% during the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 213,764 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $9,282,000 after acquiring an additional 2,337 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.52% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) traded down $0.07 during trading on Thursday, hitting $50.79. 520,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 803,688. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 2.09 and a quick ratio of 2.09. Lazard Ltd. has a 1 year low of $40.22 and a 1 year high of $52.22. The company has a market capitalization of $6,590.00, a PE ratio of 13.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 1.89.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.10. Lazard had a net margin of 17.16% and a return on equity of 38.81%. The firm had revenue of $624.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $593.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.85 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Lazard Ltd. will post 3.58 earnings per share for the current year.

Lazard declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the asset manager to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 6th were issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 3rd. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is 45.81%.

A number of brokerages have commented on LAZ. ValuEngine cut shares of Lazard from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. BidaskClub cut shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Nomura increased their price target on shares of Lazard from $43.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Buckingham Research increased their price target on shares of Lazard from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Lazard currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $48.56.

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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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