AGF Investments Inc. decreased its position in Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) by 76.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 72,162 shares of the asset manager’s stock after selling 229,383 shares during the quarter. AGF Investments Inc. owned approximately 0.06% of Lazard worth $3,789,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in LAZ. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position 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 during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Lazard by 2.7% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 19,025 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $881,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP purchased a new position in shares of Lazard in the second quarter valued at about $16,208,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in shares of Lazard by 277.4% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 148,154 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $6,863,000 after acquiring an additional 108,900 shares during the period. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership purchased a new position in shares of Lazard in the second quarter valued at about $547,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have issued reports on LAZ shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Buckingham Research boosted their price objective 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. Nomura boosted their price objective 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. Instinet upgraded shares of Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Lazard currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $60.56.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 earnings per share 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 analyst estimates of $658.86 million. Lazard had a net margin of 9.40% and a return on equity of 38.66%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.13 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Lazard Ltd will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.116 per share. This represents a $0.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 9th. Lazard’s payout ratio is 89.13%.
Lazard announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the asset manager to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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