Lazard quarterly profit beats estimates on M&A recovery

FILE PHOTO: The logo and trading information for Lazard Ltd appear on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Investment bank Lazard Ltd LAZ.N comfortably beat market expectations for quarterly profit on Thursday thanks to a recovery in deal-making activity, although weakness in its asset management arm weighed.

Dealmaking activity spiked to a record $1 trillion in the third quarter, Refinitiv data showed. But M&A deals overall were down 21% at $2.2 trillion in the first nine months of 2020.

Operating revenue from Lazard’s financial advisory business, its biggest breadwinner, rose 1% in the quarter, while revenue from its asset management arm fell 8%.

The bank, whose business is split between asset management and financial advisory, said adjusted net income for the three months to Sept. 30 fell to $76 million, or 67 cents per share, from $88 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

The figure was higher than Refinitiv IBES estimates of 47 cents per share. (bit.ly/35NQCr4)

Lazard’s total assets under management fell to $228 billion at the end of the quarter from $231 billion a year earlier.

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