Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lowered its stake in shares of Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) by 20.3% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 55,105 shares of the asset manager’s stock after selling 14,020 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA’s holdings in Lazard were worth $2,896,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lazard during the fourth quarter valued at $105,000. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in shares of Lazard by 83.2% during the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,151 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $113,000 after acquiring an additional 977 shares during the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lazard during the fourth quarter valued at $125,000. First Dallas Securities Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Lazard during the fourth quarter valued at $127,000. Finally, American International Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Lazard during the fourth quarter valued at $144,000. 71.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 15,160 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.47, for a total transaction of $810,605.20. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 276,886 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,805,094.42. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Alexander F. Stern sold 65,160 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.12, for a total value of $3,461,299.20. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 276,886 shares in the company, valued at $14,708,184.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 95,320 shares of company stock worth $5,053,854. Company insiders own 2.76% of the company’s stock.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The asset manager reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.22. Lazard had a return on equity of 44.63% and a net margin of 10.81%. The firm had revenue of $724.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $652.99 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.83 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Lazard Ltd will post 4.35 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 7th were issued a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.19%. This is an increase from Lazard’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 4th. Lazard’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 46.56%.
A number of research firms recently commented on LAZ. Zacks Investment Research raised Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 13th. Nomura increased their target price on Lazard from $62.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. JMP Securities increased their target price on Lazard from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “market outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. TheStreet downgraded Lazard from an “a-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of Lazard in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $60.13.
Lazard Company Profile
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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