The board of
) approved a 20% increase in its quarterly cash dividend. The
Asset Management company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 30
cents per share against 25 cents a share distributed previously.
The first increased quarterly dividend will be paid on Feb 21,
2014 to shareholders of record as on Feb 10.
The newly increased quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share is
equivalent to annual dividend of $1.2o per share. Based on
yesterday's closing share price of $42.41, the increased dividend
of Lazard implies a dividend yield of 2.83% which is better than
the industry average yield of 2.50%.
Lazard's sturdy financial position supported by a strong cash
balance cushions its solid capital deployment activity. Lazard's
shares are asset for yield-seeking investors due to its strong
capital deployment activity. Since the beginning of 2010, it has
doubled its quarterly dividend and returned more than $1 billion
in capital to shareholders. Moreover, in the first nine months of
2013, the company returned $294 million to shareholders.
Based on 133.2 million shares outstanding as of Sep 30, 2013,
Lazard will have to dish out nearly $40 million for the new
quarterly dividend payout.
Besides delivering dividends consistently, Lazard is also
garnering investors' confidence through its share repurchase
activities. During the first nine months of 2013 the company
spent nearly $107 million to buy back 3.2 million shares.
On Oct 23, 2013, the board of directors at Lazard approved
$100 million of additional share repurchase authorization on top
of the remaining amount from the old authorization. This new
authorization will expire on Dec 31, 2015.
ARTISAN PTNR AM (APAM): Free Stock Analysis
CALAMOS ASSET-A (CLMS): Free Stock Analysis
FORTRESS INVEST (FIG): Free Stock Analysis
LAZARD LTD (LAZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
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Lazard is set to release its fourth-quarter and full year 2013
financial results on Feb 5, 2014. The Zacks Consensus Estimate
for fourth quarter 2013 and full year 2013 are currently pegged
at 60 cents and $1.80 respectively.
Lazard presently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other
top-ranked stocks worth considering include
Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc.
Calamos Asset Management Inc.
Fortress Investment Group LLC
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1.