Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 71.5% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 971,137 shares of the asset manager’s stock after purchasing an additional 405,016 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.75% of Lazard worth $43,915,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of LAZ. LSV Asset Management increased its stake in shares of Lazard by 560.2% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,428,390 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $158,837,000 after purchasing an additional 2,909,090 shares in the last quarter. BT Investment Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Lazard during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $94,831,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Lazard by 7.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,967,499 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $508,124,000 after purchasing an additional 750,941 shares in the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC increased its stake in shares of Lazard by 2,608.0% during the 2nd quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 777,200 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $36,008,000 after purchasing an additional 748,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Lazard during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $510,000. 72.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on LAZ shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub raised shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Buckingham Research raised their price objective on shares of Lazard from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Nomura raised their price objective on shares of Lazard from $43.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.56.

Shares of Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) opened at $45.92 on Thursday. Lazard Ltd. has a 1 year low of $38.46 and a 1 year high of $48.86. The stock has a market cap of $6,034.12, a P/E ratio of 12.27, a P/E/G ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.89. 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 (NYSE:LAZ) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $624.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $593.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.85 earnings per share. Lazard’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Lazard Ltd. will post 3.52 EPS for the current year.

Lazard announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the asset manager to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Monday, November 6th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 3rd. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.57%. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 46.86%.

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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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