Boston, MA 05/05/2014 (wallstreetpr) – Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) experienced a stronger Q12014 than expected. The company linked the high profit in the quarter on the doubling of merger fees and the encouraging performance in the assets management segment.
The financial advisory company reported Q1 net income of $80.8 million or $0.61 per share. That compared with net income of $15.4 million or $0.12 per share in the corresponding quarter of 2013. The profit exceeded the $0.54 per share in the average estimate from 13 analysts.
About revenue, Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) reported 64 percent increase in revenue to $272.5 million. The big jump in revenue was supported by the double jump on the fees charged on merger deals in the quarter. The company observed merger deal of more than $239 million, a record figure in any first quarter. Based on the big merger fees in Q1, operating revenue in the quarter came in at $540.2 million, increasing 31 percent.
Also, according to the management, an increase in the merger revenue gained support, albeit partially, from the fact that the first three months of fiscal 2013 experienced low level of deal completions.
Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) enjoyed good Q1 performance compared with peers Greenhill & Co Inc (NYSE:GHL) and Evercore Partners Inc (NYSE:EVR) that reported profit figures that missed estimates.
The record profit figures experienced in Q1 also gained support from a robust asset management segment. Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) reported 9 percent revenue jump to $262.3 million from asset management activities. The asset management revenue in the latest quarter showed the biggest first quarter figure. Also, the company benefited from a strong asset management segment in the previous year, generating the majority of revenue in the year from the segment than merger deals.
In the environment of increased merger activities as can be seen in the widespread quest for deals in the pharmaceutical industry coupled with a robust asset management, Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) looks poised to benefit from this mix of business opportunities. Moreover, the company believes that its sound internal improvements will support bottom-line growth going forward.
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