Lazard (LAZ) Shares Down 8.1%

Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) was down 8.1% during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as low as $37.01 and last traded at $37.13. Approximately 1,492,353 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 87% from the average daily volume of 797,833 shares. The stock had previously closed at $40.41.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on LAZ shares. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Lazard in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Lazard from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Lazard in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Finally, Buckingham Research reduced their price target on Lazard from $64.00 to $52.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $57.75.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.83 and a current ratio of 1.83. The company has a market capitalization of $5.21 billion, a PE ratio of 9.82, a PEG ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.85.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The asset manager reported $0.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by ($0.07). The business had revenue of $605.61 million for the quarter. Lazard had a return on equity of 49.98% and a net margin of 11.49%. On average, analysts expect that Lazard Ltd will post 4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 5th were paid a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 2nd. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.74%. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 46.56%.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Lazard by 2.2% during the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 75,135 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $3,675,000 after buying an additional 1,625 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Lazard in the second quarter valued at approximately $594,000. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC boosted its holdings in Lazard by 9.5% in the second quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 12,515 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $612,000 after purchasing an additional 1,087 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in Lazard by 3.3% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 303,132 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $14,827,000 after buying an additional 9,647 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BNP PARIBAS ASSET MANAGEMENT Holding S.A. purchased a new stake in Lazard in the second quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Institutional investors own 71.37% of the company’s stock.

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About Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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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