BidaskClub downgraded shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday morning.

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on LAZ. Credit Suisse Group restated a buy rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Lazard in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a buy rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Lazard in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut Lazard from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Lazard from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Lazard currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $46.89.

Lazard (NYSE LAZ) opened at 42.67 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $45.76 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.84. Lazard has a 52 week low of $33.48 and a 52 week high of $48.86. The company has a market capitalization of $5.19 billion, a PE ratio of 12.09 and a beta of 1.84.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The asset manager reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.18. The business had revenue of $720.16 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $627.12 million. Lazard had a return on equity of 39.33% and a net margin of 17.39%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 32.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.61 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Lazard will post $3.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 18th. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th were given a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.84%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 3rd. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.46%.

In related news, CFO Matthieu Bucaille sold 90,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.81, for a total transaction of $4,032,900.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ boosted its stake in Lazard by 1.6% in the first quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ now owns 96,491 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $4,438,000 after buying an additional 1,520 shares in the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Lazard by 10.9% in the first quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 25,030 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,151,000 after buying an additional 2,470 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Lazard during the first quarter valued at about $1,026,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its stake in Lazard by 6.0% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 11,030 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $507,000 after buying an additional 620 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Navellier & Associates Inc boosted its stake in Lazard by 13.5% in the first quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 47,599 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $2,189,000 after buying an additional 5,661 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.05% of the company’s stock.

About Lazard

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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