Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) saw a significant decline in short interest in March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 1,982,066 shares, a decline of 36.2% from the March 15th total of 3,108,839 shares. Currently, 1.6% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,151,936 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.7 days.

In other Lazard news, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 15,160 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.47, for a total transaction of $810,605.20. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 276,886 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,805,094.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CAO Scott D. Hoffman sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 147,341 shares in the company, valued at $7,680,886.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 95,320 shares of company stock worth $5,053,854 over the last quarter. 2.76% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Lomas Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Lazard during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $9,859,000. Hudson Bay Capital Management LP grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 43.7% during the fourth quarter. Hudson Bay Capital Management LP now owns 150,853 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $7,920,000 after buying an additional 45,853 shares during the last quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 13.2% during the fourth quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 39,500 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $2,074,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares during the last quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Lazard during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $221,000. Finally, Rudman Errol M grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 12.1% during the fourth quarter. Rudman Errol M now owns 92,911 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $4,878,000 after buying an additional 10,000 shares during the last quarter. 71.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

LAZ has been the topic of several analyst reports. 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 note on Monday, January 8th. Nomura raised Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $46.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Lazard in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Instinet raised Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. Lazard has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $58.89.

LAZ opened at $52.96 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $6,859.44, a PE ratio of 14.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.85. Lazard has a one year low of $40.50 and a one year high of $60.00. The company has a current ratio of 1.91, a quick ratio of 1.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $683.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $658.86 million. Lazard had a return on equity of 38.93% and a net margin of 9.40%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.13 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Lazard will post 4.08 earnings per share for the current year.

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About Lazard

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.

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