Shares of Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) have been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the ten ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation and two have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $34.14.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on LAZ. Argus lowered their price objective on Lazard from $51.00 to $35.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 6th. JMP Securities reduced their target price on Lazard from $50.00 to $40.00 and set a “market outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 9th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Lazard from $39.00 to $28.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 9th. UBS Group boosted their target price on Lazard from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, May 4th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 1st.

In other news, President Alexander F. Stern sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.95, for a total value of $1,897,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 421,443 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,993,761.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 3.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Lazard by 2.9% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,939,958 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $437,160,000 after buying an additional 307,999 shares during the period. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. raised its stake in Lazard by 3.9% during the 4th quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 132,905 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $5,311,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank lifted its holdings in Lazard by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 24,514 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $980,000 after acquiring an additional 973 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new position in Lazard in the fourth quarter valued at about $85,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in shares of Lazard by 1,365.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 117,980 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $4,714,000 after acquiring an additional 109,930 shares in the last quarter. 79.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of LAZ opened at $25.57 on Thursday. Lazard has a 12-month low of $20.94 and a 12-month high of $44.95. The company has a quick ratio of 1.69, a current ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.12. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.73 and a beta of 1.78. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $25.47 and its 200 day moving average price is $35.24.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The asset manager reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by ($0.04). Lazard had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 52.29%. The firm had revenue of $563.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $585.73 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Lazard will post 1.63 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 22nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.35%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 8th. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.32%.

About Lazard

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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Analyst Recommendations for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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