Sterling Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 249.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 46,191 shares of the asset manager’s stock after acquiring an additional 32,991 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Lazard were worth $2,140,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 9.0% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,701 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $172,000 after acquiring an additional 306 shares in the last quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 1,759.2% in the second quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 3,830 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $177,000 after acquiring an additional 3,624 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in Lazard during the second quarter worth approximately $179,000. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. bought a new stake in Lazard during the second quarter worth approximately $206,000. Finally, Ballentine Partners LLC bought a new stake in Lazard during the second quarter worth approximately $216,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.15% of the company’s stock.
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Shares of Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) traded up 0.66% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $45.87. 128,938 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.99 and a beta of 1.85. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $44.03 and its 200 day moving average is $44.68. Lazard Ltd. has a 12-month low of $36.40 and a 12-month high of $48.86.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $624.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $593.19 million. Lazard had a net margin of 17.39% and a return on equity of 39.33%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.85 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Lazard Ltd. will post $3.52 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Monday, November 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 3rd. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.46%.
Lazard declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the asset manager to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of analysts recently weighed in on LAZ shares. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $47.25.
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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