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Research Alert: CFRA Keeps Hold Opinion On Shares Of Lazard Ltd

· 02/05/2021 09:57

02:55 PM EST, 02/05/2021 (MT Newswires) -- CFRA, an independent research provider, has provided MT Newswires with the following research alert. Analysts at CFRA have summarized their opinion as follows:

We raise our target by $10 to $47, 11.4x our '22 EPS estimate, slightly below LAZ's 5-yr forward P/E avg. of 11.8x. We lift our '21 EPS estimate by $0.67 to $3.71 on improving M&A trajectory and start '21's at $4.12. LAZ posts Q4 adj. EPS of $1.66 vs. $0.91, $0.69 above consensus driven by better-than-expected topline (+49% Q/Q) aided by record Advisory (+66% on a pick-up in mega deals), robust Asset Mgmt. (+29%), and lower tax expense more than offsetting higher than forecast expenses as comp jumped 46% (comp ratio at elevated 58.6%), an area with limited opportunities for cost cutting as LAZ revs up recruiting in '21. Positive comments around M&A outlook boosts our optimism for continued fee strength in advisory going forward with restructuring remaining elevated as activity levels in Europe pick up in 1H21. Record AUM of $259B (+14% Q/Q) could see further momentum on a strong pipeline of unfunded mandates complemented by smaller firm lift-outs, albeit $1B in outflows QTD vs. $0.3B in Q4 remains a concern.