New York State Common Retirement Fund Decreases Holdings in Lazard Ltd. (LAZ)

New York State Common Retirement Fund cut its holdings in shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) by 3.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 392,255 shares of the asset manager’s stock after selling 14,921 shares during the quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund owned 0.30% of Lazard worth $17,738,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the business. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 9.0% during 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 last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lazard during the 2nd quarter valued at about $179,000. Ballentine Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lazard during the 2nd quarter valued at about $216,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 18.4% during 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 last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its holdings in shares of Lazard by 57.6% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,327 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $247,000 after buying an additional 1,947 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.52% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) traded up $0.33 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.12. The company had a trading volume of 654,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 803,068. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 2.09 and a quick ratio of 2.09. Lazard Ltd. has a 1-year low of $40.22 and a 1-year high of $52.22. The company has a market cap of $6,593.42, a P/E ratio of 13.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 1.89.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The asset manager reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.10. Lazard had a return on equity of 38.81% and a net margin of 17.16%. The business had revenue of $624.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $593.19 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.85 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Lazard Ltd. will post 3.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Lazard declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the asset manager to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Monday, November 6th were paid a $0.41 dividend. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.21%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 3rd. Lazard’s payout ratio is 46.86%.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on LAZ shares. Buckingham Research lifted their price target on Lazard from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. BidaskClub lowered Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. ValuEngine lowered Lazard from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Nomura lifted their price target on Lazard from $43.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report 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 stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.56.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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