Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $53.00 price target on the asset manager’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 15.14% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Lazard have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Estimates for third-quarter results have been revised upward over the last 30 days. Also, the company boasts an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company is well positioned to grow organically, driven by strength in its Financial Advisory and Asset Management segments. Notably, in 2016, Lazard acquired Verus Partners and the remaining stake in MBA Lazard, to fortify its financial advisory business footprint across America. Further, focus on cost management will likely enhance the company’s profitability. However, its dependence on local and global economic conditions for revenue generation and regulatory pressure can hurt top-line growth in the near term.”

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on LAZ. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lazard from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have issued 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 price target of $47.25.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) traded down 0.6980% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $45.7087. 230,050 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $43.82 and a 200-day moving average of $44.68. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.9486 and a beta of 1.85. Lazard has a 1-year low of $35.18 and a 1-year high of $48.86.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The asset manager reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.18. Lazard had a net margin of 17.39% and a return on equity of 39.33%. The business had revenue of $720.16 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $627.12 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 32.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Lazard will post $3.51 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LAZ. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in shares of Lazard by 65.0% during the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 18,525 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $852,000 after purchasing an additional 7,300 shares during the period. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of Lazard during the 1st quarter valued at $375,000. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in shares of Lazard by 52.4% during the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 39,832 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $1,832,000 after purchasing an additional 13,691 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Lazard during the 1st quarter valued at $335,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Lazard by 4.5% during the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 847,527 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $38,978,000 after purchasing an additional 36,628 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.21% of the company’s stock.

Lazard Company 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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Analyst Recommendations for Lazard (NYSE:LAZ)

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