Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ – Get Free Report) saw a significant growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,040,000 shares, a growth of 7.8% from the October 15th total of 2,820,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 613,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.0 days. Currently, 2.8% of the company’s stock are sold short.
Institutional Investors Weigh In On Lazard
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. CENTRAL TRUST Co lifted its stake in Lazard by 88.7% during the 3rd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 800 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 376 shares during the period. Larson Financial Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Lazard during the third quarter worth $27,000. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its position in Lazard by 130.1% during the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,001 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $32,000 after purchasing an additional 566 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Lazard in the first quarter valued at $48,000. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its position in Lazard by 489.4% during the 3rd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,727 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $55,000 after purchasing an additional 1,434 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.64% of the company’s stock.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. JMP Securities reduced their target price on shares of Lazard from $53.00 to $50.00 and set a “market outperform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. UBS Group reduced their price objective on shares of Lazard from $37.00 to $32.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. The Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Lazard from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $37.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Lazard from $41.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, StockNews.com initiated coverage on Lazard in a report on Thursday, October 5th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $39.00.
Lazard Stock Performance
Lazard stock traded down $0.09 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $26.82. 1,350,002 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 709,225. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $29.82 and its two-hundred day moving average is $31.29. The company has a market capitalization of $3.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -22.79 and a beta of 1.40. Lazard has a fifty-two week low of $25.82 and a fifty-two week high of $43.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.03, a current ratio of 1.71 and a quick ratio of 1.71.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ – Get Free Report) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.19 by ($0.09). Lazard had a negative net margin of 3.87% and a positive return on equity of 15.28%. The firm had revenue of $532.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $572.54 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.05 earnings per share. Lazard’s revenue was down 26.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Lazard will post 0.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Lazard Announces Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 6th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.46%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 3rd. Lazard’s payout ratio is -169.49%.
Lazard Company Profile
Lazard Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. It operates in two segments, Financial Advisory and Asset Management. The Financial Advisory segment offers various financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, capital advisory, shareholder advisory, capital raising, sovereign advisory, and other strategic advisory matters.
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