New Lifetime High Reached: Lazard (LAZ)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Lazard ( LAZ) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Lazard as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • LAZ has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $31.8 million.
  • LAZ has traded 6,528 shares today.
  • LAZ is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on LAZ:

Lazard Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.5%. LAZ has a PE ratio of 18. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Lazard a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Lazard has been 691,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lazard has a market cap of $6.9 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. The stock has a beta of 1.78 and a short float of 0.8% with 1.92 days to cover. Shares are up 13.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Lazard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LAZ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, LAZARD LTD's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • LAZARD LTD's earnings per share declined by 31.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LAZARD LTD increased its bottom line by earning $3.21 versus $1.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.60 versus $3.21).
  • The gross profit margin for LAZARD LTD is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.81%. Regardless of LAZ's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LAZ's net profit margin of 9.43% is significantly lower than the industry average.

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