LAZARD Ltd. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

LAZARD Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, February 6, 2012. Lazard, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm worldwide. The company’s Financial Advisory segment offers a range of services regarding mergers and acquisitions and strategic advisory matters.

LAZARD Ltd. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 37 cents per share, a decline of 51.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 55 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 45 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 18.4% versus last year to $1.68.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 8 cents, reporting profit of 49 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 41 cents. In the second quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by 2 cents with profit of 51 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 49 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $459.1 million in revenue this quarter, a decline of 22.8% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $1.84 billion for the year, a decline of 3.7% from last year’s revenue of $1.91 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with five analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and two rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 2.2% to $62.7 million (49 cents a share) from $64.1 million (51 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 1.5% to $484.6 million from $477.3 million.

Key Stats:

The company’s revenue has risen for two straight quarters. In the second quarter, the figure rose 13%.

Stock Price Performance: During December 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012, the stock price had risen $3.37 (13.3%) from $25.35 to $28.72. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 13, 2012 and January 23, 2012 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 5.9% (+$1.56) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 22, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 13.5% (-$4.90) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com