First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 250,097 shares of the asset manager’s stock after acquiring an additional 7,871 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP owned about 0.19% of Lazard worth $11,309,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of LAZ. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 65.0% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 18,525 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $852,000 after acquiring an additional 7,300 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 52.4% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 39,832 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,832,000 after acquiring an additional 13,691 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in Lazard by 266.1% during the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 40,802 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $1,877,000 after buying an additional 29,658 shares in the last quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System boosted its holdings in Lazard by 0.9% during the first quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 11,200 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $515,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, KCG Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Lazard during the first quarter worth about $219,000. 71.92% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of analysts recently commented on LAZ shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, October 23rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Buckingham Research boosted their price objective on shares of Lazard from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. BidaskClub raised shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Nomura boosted their price objective on shares of Lazard from $43.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $48.56.

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Shares of Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) opened at $48.16 on Friday. Lazard Ltd. has a fifty-two week low of $37.37 and a fifty-two week high of $48.86. The stock has a market cap of $6,156.10, a PE ratio of 12.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 2.09 and a quick ratio of 2.09.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.10. Lazard had a net margin of 17.16% and a return on equity of 38.81%. The company had revenue of $624.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $593.19 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.85 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Lazard Ltd. will post 3.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Lazard announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the asset manager to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 6th will be issued a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.41%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 3rd. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 46.86%.

Lazard Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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