Short Interest in Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) Drops By 6.2%

Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZGet Rating) saw a large decrease in short interest in December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,030,000 shares, a decrease of 6.2% from the December 15th total of 3,230,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 792,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.8 days. Approximately 2.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the company. JMP Securities reduced their target price on Lazard from $56.00 to $53.00 and set a “market outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 10th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Lazard from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 31st. Finally, StockNews.com upgraded Lazard from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 31st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Lazard presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.50.

Lazard Price Performance

Lazard stock opened at $39.57 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.82, a quick ratio of 1.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.49. The company has a market capitalization of $4.46 billion, a PE ratio of 8.09 and a beta of 1.39. Lazard has a 12 month low of $30.20 and a 12 month high of $45.20. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $36.76 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $36.08.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The asset manager reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.24. The firm had revenue of $723.55 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $637.94 million. Lazard had a return on equity of 60.19% and a net margin of 16.76%. Analysts expect that Lazard will post 3.75 EPS for the current year.

Insider Transactions at Lazard

In other news, President Alexander F. Stern sold 49,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.39, for a total transaction of $1,783,110.00. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 50,258 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,828,888.62. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 3.86% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Lazard

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Lazard by 1.3% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,065,467 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $320,383,000 after purchasing an additional 128,061 shares during the last quarter. Ariel Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Lazard by 5.4% during the first quarter. Ariel Investments LLC now owns 8,560,437 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $295,335,000 after acquiring an additional 439,866 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Lazard by 0.5% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,669,725 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $148,638,000 after acquiring an additional 25,207 shares during the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its position in shares of Lazard by 14.1% during the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 3,750,853 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $121,565,000 after acquiring an additional 462,677 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Lazard by 7.2% during the first quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,247,090 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $77,525,000 after acquiring an additional 150,723 shares during the last quarter. 63.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Lazard

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Lazard Ltd. is a financial advisory and asset management firm, which engages in the provision of crafting solutions to the clients, including corporations, governments, institutions, partnerships, and individuals. It operates through the Financial Advisory and Asset Management segments. The Financial Advisory segment offers corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign, and individual clients, an array of financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, capital structure, capital raising, and corporate preparedness.

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