Back to top

Analyst Blog

On April 1, 2014, we issued an updated research report on Lazard Ltd. (LAZ - Analyst Report). The company’s disciplined expense management as well as persistent rise in revenues remains the key positives. Moreover, the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2013 results.

In the present economic scenario wherein most of the companies are finding to difficult to mange expenses, Lazard has succeeded in pulling the reins on costs through successful implementation of cost savings plan. The company had announced cost savings of $125 million initially, which has now been extended to $160 million. Notably, Lazard has already realized two-third of targeted savings last year and now expects to achieve the remaining by 2014.

Moreover, in 2013, Lazard recorded a 12% year-over-year increase in assets under management. We expect the uptrend to continue in the coming quarters with further improvement in the equity market. Also, the company’s capital deployment activities have been commendable. In Jan 2014, it hiked its dividend by 20% to 30 cents per share.

Additionally, Lazard’s fourth-quarter earnings per share of 81 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 35.0%. Strong results triggered an upward revision in the Zacks Consensus Estimate, as analysts turned more bullish on the stock’s future performance.

While the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 increased 6.0% to $2.65 per share, for 2015 it advanced 5.7% to $3.17 per share over the last 60 days. Lazard now sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

However, we remain concerned about Lazard’s diversified footprint, which subjects it to risks arising from tightening regulations, political tensions, foreign exchange rate fluctuations and performance of regional economy.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Other investment managers worth considering include AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (AB - Snapshot Report), Calamos Asset Management Inc. (CLMS - Snapshot Report) and Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG - Snapshot Report). All these stocks have the same Zacks Rank as Lazard.

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
RPC INC RES 24.91 +8.35%
LITHIA MOTO… LAD 94.59 +4.60%
DELTA AIR L… DAL 39.15 +3.90%
FLAMEL TECH… FLML 14.51 +3.50%
SOUTHWEST A… LUV 28.87 +2.92%