May. 1, 2014, 7:09 AM
Apr. 30, 2014, 10:19 AM
Apr. 16, 2014, 7:57 AM
- Analyst Steven Chubak cashes in his chips on his January "Reduce" call on Greenhill (GHL) after a near-20% decline in the stock. While some of his initial concerns - rich valuation, lagging market share growth, and too-high expectations - remain, the current price, dividend support, and an improving Q2 backlog make for a more balanced risk/reward situation.
- "While we believe GHL remains a compelling relative short vs. peers (LAZ, EVR), with little absolute downside at current levels, we are upgrading to Neutral, with our price target unchanged at $49."
Apr. 1, 2014, 10:50 AM
- Extrapolating Q1 dealmaking to the full year, global M&A activity in 2014 could put in its best performance since 2007, according to Bloomberg. Hedgeye's Jonathan Casteleyn notes European activity is up 60% from last year and those investment banks poised to benefit the most from that are Lazard (LAZ +0.1%) and Greenhill (GHL).
Mar. 26, 2014, 9:51 AM
- Among the movers in the financial sector in the early-going following sell-side moves:
- Lazard (LAZ +1.7%) is boosted to a Buy at Nomura on favorable organic growth trends and market share gains in its advisory business.
- Carlyle Group (CG +5.1%) is upgraded to a Buy at UBS, which cites the push into retail offerings and the significant win with the hiring Michael Cavanagh from JPMorgan. See also: Carlyle eyeing traditional asset manager purchase as it seeks a higher multiple.
- Yadkin Financial (YDKN -1.6%) is lower after KBW rings the register on its Outperform rating.
Feb. 25, 2014, 3:18 PM
- Today's presentation by JPMorgan (JPM -1.6%) Corporate & Investment Bank co-CEOs Mike Cavanagh and Daniel Pinto is taking a slice out of Goldman Sachs (GS -1.9%) and Morgan Stanley (MS -2.2%), with Pinto talking about a continuing slowdown in markets activity thus far in 2014.
- "It's just weather," says Jamie Dimon, commenting on the tough start to the year - not necessarily blaming the weather, but pointing out the passing nature of such trends.
- Not discussed today is a WSJ report on the unexpected departure of the bank's chief compliance officer, Cindy Armine, after just about a year on the job. She's apparently moving to First Data Corp, run by former JPMorgan exec Frank Bisignano, who's recruited a number of former colleagues since exiting the bank in April. Armine's move is just the latest in a line of high-profile exits from JPMorgan. Her role will be filled on an interim basis by Lou Rauchenberger, chief administrative officer for the corporate and investment bank.
- Some other IBs: Greenhill (GHL -0.8%), Evercore (EVR -1.1%), Lazard (LAZ -0.6%)
- Earlier investor day coverage
Feb. 5, 2014, 7:05 AM
Feb. 5, 2014, 12:05 AM
Feb. 4, 2014, 5:30 PM
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:59 PM
Jan. 24, 2014, 7:27 AM
- What was the CEO of a company you're an owner of up to this week? An index of companies whose execs regularly attend Davos has vastly underperformed the market since 2009.
- Attendance at the gathering tends to be dominated by the financials, with GS, C, HSBC, JPM, LAZ, MS, SCBFF, BAC, ITUB, and UBS leading the way to prove their bona fides as thought leaders. Also spotted were the heads of DOW, and PEP.
- Notably absent: Buffett (BRK.A, BRK.B) , Tim Cook (AAPL) (Jobs never attended either), Jeff Immelt (GE), and Virginia Rometty (IBM). Google's (GOOG) founders and Mark Zuckerberg (FB) stopped going a couple of years ago.
Jan. 15, 2014, 8:10 AM
- A few sell-side moves in the brokerage/boutique investment banks today finds Raymond James upgrading Lazard (LAZ) from a Buy to a Strong Buy (with new price target of $54 from $47), and Credit Suisse starting Raymond James (RJF) at Outperform with $60 price target. Stifel Financial (SF) and LPL Investment (LPLA) are initiated at Neutral.
Jan. 13, 2014, 3:32 PM
- "Options markets suggest this will be one of the most important earnings seasons in 10 years for stock pickers given low expected correlation and limited pre-positioning," says Goldman analyst John Marshall.
- "We expect outsized profitability for call buying strategies on single stocks this quarter," he adds, noting options markets are actually pricing in a lower earnings-day move than any time on record for the average stock. "We expect earnings surprises to spark unexpectedly large stock moves."
- The average earnings-day move last quarter was 3.5x as large as the average daily move, he says, greater than any other time in the past 17 years.
- Goldman analysts see above-consensus reports from KORS, RYL, TIF, EOG, PXD, WNR, BBT, BX, LAZ, STI, BMY, THC, CMI, DOW, STZ, ARUN, OLED, QCOM, and XLNX.
- Goldman's below the Street on ANN, IGT, MAT, COL, JOY, and MSFT.
Jan. 9, 2014, 9:04 AM
- New coverage from Nomura keeps rolling in ...
- Evercore Partners (EVR) rates a Buy and $72 price target: "We believe that EVR should continue to take market share, given higher levels of SMD (senior managing director) productivity and that reduced expense drag from new hires/growth initiatives should translate into ~500bp margin improvement through 2016, which is not reflected in consensus," says analyst Steven Chubak.
- Stifel Financial (SF) is started a Neutral with $46 price target: "We struggle to justify a positive rating on Stifel shares, as the revenue contribution from lower-multiple Institutional businesses continues to build and the valuation appears too rich trading above 17x consensus NTM earnings ... However, management’s plan to grow the bank could provide a meaningful boost to the bottom line, as lending activities produce much higher margins, and the potential upside here is not reflected in consensus forecasts ... We caution shorts to tread lightly."
- "We believe future earnings growth from cost initiatives/margin progress is already reflected in the current valuation," he writes, initiating Lazard (LAZ) with a Neutral and $47 price target.
- Earlier: Coverage of the TBTF banks, and other brokerage names.
Jan. 7, 2014, 3:53 AM
- Stabilization in Europe, greater cooperation in the U.S. Congress, positive impacts from tapering, and modest economic growth paint a positive picture for rising advisory fee pools in 2014, Susquehanna says.
- "We expect industry fees to grow 10%-15% off 2013 levels and believe independent firms will continue to gradually take fee share. We still believe Evercore Partners (EVR) is the most attractive of the three advisory firms. EVR looks to have the most momentum based on recent announced deal trends coming into 2014."
- Firm is positive on EVR with a $67 one-year target, and neutral on Greenhill (GHL) and Lazard (LAZ).
Jan. 2, 2014, 10:47 AM
- Trading at 1.2x tangible book value, the stocks of Goldman Sachs (GS +0.1%) and Morgan Stanley (MS -0.7%) look to have mostly priced in management's ability to drive returns above cost of capital, says analyst Keith Horowitz, who nevertheless raises Goldman's PT to $195 and Morgan's to $35.
- Bank of America's (BAC +2.2%) new price target of $19 "reflects a cost of equity more in line with history and no longer impacted by legacy issues."
- Lazard (LAZ -0.5%) - which had a big 2013 - may do little more than tread water this year, says Horowitz, as weak M&A activity weighs on earnings.
- Previous coverage of CIti's BofA upgrade
LAZ vs. ETF Alternatives
Lazard Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm. It provides crafting solutions to the complex financial and strategic challenges around the world, including corporations, governments and individuals.
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