Equities research analysts predict that Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $1.01 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Zero analysts have issued estimates for Lazard’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.94 to $1.08. Lazard posted earnings of $0.83 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 21.7%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings report on Thursday, April 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Lazard will report full year earnings of $3.99 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.61 to $4.35. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the company will report earnings of $4.34 per share. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Lazard.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The asset manager reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.20. Lazard had a net margin of 9.40% and a return on equity of 38.66%. The company had revenue of $683.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $658.86 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.13 EPS. Lazard’s revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on LAZ. JMP Securities upped their price objective on shares of Lazard from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “market outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. TheStreet cut shares of Lazard from an “a-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Sandler O’Neill reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Lazard in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Nomura upped their price objective on shares of Lazard from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $60.56.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 9.0% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,701 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 306 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 19,025 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $881,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 18.4% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 4,843 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $225,000 after buying an additional 753 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 83.2% in the 4th quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,151 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 977 shares during the period. Finally, Koch Industries Inc. grew its stake in shares of Lazard by 9.4% in the 4th quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 12,349 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $648,000 after buying an additional 1,062 shares during the period. 71.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Lazard (NYSE LAZ) traded up $0.32 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $54.51. 1,143,634 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 939,364. Lazard has a one year low of $40.50 and a one year high of $60.00. The stock has a market cap of $7,070.00, a PE ratio of 28.39, a PEG ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 1.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 2.09 and a current ratio of 2.09.

Lazard announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the asset manager to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 12th will be paid a $0.116 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 9th. This represents a $0.46 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.85%. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 85.42%.

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Lazard Company 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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