Focus Financial Partners (NASDAQ:FOCS) and Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Focus Financial Partners and Lazard, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Focus Financial Partners 0 3 1 0 2.25
Lazard 0 3 6 0 2.67

Focus Financial Partners presently has a consensus target price of $42.67, indicating a potential upside of 55.43%. Lazard has a consensus target price of $57.43, indicating a potential upside of 61.86%. Given Lazard’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Lazard is more favorable than Focus Financial Partners.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Focus Financial Partners and Lazard’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Focus Financial Partners $662.88 million 2.70 -$48.35 million N/A N/A
Lazard $2.70 billion 1.71 $253.58 million $3.78 9.39

Lazard has higher revenue and earnings than Focus Financial Partners.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

80.7% of Focus Financial Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.4% of Lazard shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.8% of Lazard shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Lazard pays an annual dividend of $1.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.0%. Focus Financial Partners does not pay a dividend. Lazard pays out 46.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Lazard has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Focus Financial Partners and Lazard’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Focus Financial Partners -4.64% -4.59% 0.94%
Lazard 11.49% 49.98% 11.98%

Summary

Lazard beats Focus Financial Partners on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Focus Financial Partners Company Profile

Focus Financial Partners Inc. provides wealth management services to primarily high net worth individuals and families. The company's wealth management services include investment advice, financial and tax planning, consulting, tax return preparation, family office services, and other services. It also offers recordkeeping and administration services. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Lazard Company Profile

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. This segment serves corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign, and individual clients. The company's Asset Management segment offers a range of investment solutions and investment management services in equity and fixed income strategies; and alternative investments and private equity funds to corporations, public funds, sovereign entities, endowments and foundations, labor funds, financial intermediaries, and private clients. Lazard Ltd was founded in 1848 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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