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Are Investors Undervaluing Lazard Ltd (LAZ) Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
BCB Bancorp (BCBP) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of -3.45% and -4.39%, respectively, for the quarter ended September 2018. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.

Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.

Lazard Ltd (LAZ) is a stock many investors are watching right now. LAZ is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 10.46. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 12.27. Over the last 12 months, LAZ's Forward P/E has been as high as 15.55 and as low as 10.27, with a median of 12.64.

LAZ is also sporting a PEG ratio of 1. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. LAZ's industry currently sports an average PEG of 1.20. Within the past year, LAZ's PEG has been as high as 1.90 and as low as 0.98, with a median of 1.37.

Finally, our model also underscores that LAZ has a P/CF ratio of 8.68. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. LAZ's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 13.88. Within the past 12 months, LAZ's P/CF has been as high as 10.89 and as low as 6.03, with a median of 9.31.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that Lazard Ltd is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, LAZ feels like a great value stock at the moment.


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