Lazard (NYSE: LAZ) is one of 17 publicly-traded companies in the “Investment Banking” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Lazard to related businesses based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, risk and earnings.

Dividends

Lazard pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Lazard pays out 45.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Investment Banking” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.5% and pay out 194.4% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Lazard has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Lazard is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Lazard and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
Lazard $2.38 billion $387.69 million 12.88
Lazard Competitors $902.64 million $129.13 million 310.23

Lazard has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Lazard is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Lazard and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lazard 0 3 4 0 2.57
Lazard Competitors 61 336 319 25 2.42

Lazard presently has a consensus target price of $48.00, indicating a potential upside of 4.12%. As a group, “Investment Banking” companies have a potential downside of 15.43%. Given Lazard’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Lazard is more favorable than its peers.

Profitability

This table compares Lazard and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lazard 17.47% 34.34% 9.31%
Lazard Competitors 4.08% 5.34% 4.55%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

72.3% of Lazard shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.6% of shares of all “Investment Banking” companies are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Lazard shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 18.9% of shares of all “Investment Banking” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Lazard has a beta of 1.89, meaning that its stock price is 89% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lazard’s peers have a beta of 1.33, meaning that their average stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Lazard beats its peers on 12 of the 15 factors compared.

About Lazard

Lazard Ltd (Lazard) is a financial advisory and asset management company. The Company operates through two segments: Financial Advisory and Asset Management. It serves a range of clients around the world, including corporations, governments, institutions, partnerships and individuals. The Financial Advisory business segment offers corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign and individual clients across the globe a range of financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other strategic matters, restructurings, capital structure, capital raising and various other financial matters to corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign and individual clients. The Asset Management business provides investment solutions and investment management services in equity and fixed income strategies, alternative investments and private equity funds to corporations, public funds and sovereign entities.

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