On Dec 24, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
ARTISAN PTNR AM (APAM): Free Stock Analysis
LAZARD LTD (LAZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
VIRTUS INVESTMT (VRTS): Free Stock Analysis
WADDELL&REED -A (WDR): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
Lazard continued with its long-term strategy to boost
stockholders' return. Further, the company has witnessed positive
estimate revisions on the back of strong third-quarter 2013
results. Moreover, the long-term expected earnings growth rate
for this stock is 12%.
On Dec 10, Lazard declared a special dividend of 25 cents per
share on its outstanding Class A common stock. The dividend will
be paid on Dec 27, to shareholders of record as of Dec 20.
Further, Lazard reported third-quarter results on Oct 24 with
adjusted earnings per share of 46 cents, beating the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 31.4%. Robust results reflected strong
top-line performance. Moreover, Lazard held a strong capital
position and higher assets under management (AUM).
In the reported quarter, Lazard's operating revenues, on an
adjusted basis, came in at $488.7 million, up 10% from the
prior-year quarter. However, higher operating expenses that
increased 4.3% year over year to $389.2 million were the
Further, Lazard continued with its share repurchase program and
is on track to achieve its cost saving targets.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 advanced 4.1% to $1.78 per
share over the last 60 days. Also, for 2014, it rose 5.6% to
$2.46 per share over the same time frame.
Other Stocks to Consider
Besides Lazard, other investment management firms worth
Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc.
Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.
Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).