Lazard Ltd Reports Third-Quarter and Nine-Month 2019 Results

$588 million in third-quarter operating revenue

Maintaining cost discipline to accelerate investment in our businesses

$733 million of capital returned to shareholders in first nine months of 2019

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) today reported third-quarter operating revenue1 of $588 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2019. Net income, as adjusted2, was $88 million, or $0.76 per share (diluted) for the quarter. Third-quarter 2019 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis was $47 million, or $0.40 per share (diluted).

For the first nine months of 2019, net income, as adjusted, was $280 million, or $2.37 per share (diluted). On a U.S. GAAP basis, net income for the first nine months was $210 million, or $1.77 per share (diluted).

“We see increased activity in our Financial Advisory business, and continue to provide clients with a diverse range of innovative investment solutions that position our Asset Management business well for the future,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. “We are managing the firm with cost discipline while investing in our businesses to serve clients, recruit and develop the best people, and build shareholder value.”

($ in millions, except

per share data and AUM)

 

Quarter Ended
Sept. 30,

 

 

 

Nine Months Ended
Sept. 30,

 

2019

 

2018

 

%’19-’18

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

%’19-’18

Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

US GAAP

 

$47

 

$107

 

(56)%

 

 

 

$210

 

$414

 

(49)%

Per share, diluted

 

$0.40

 

$0.82

 

(51)%

 

 

 

$1.77

 

$3.16

 

(44)%

Adjusted2

 

$88

 

$111

 

(21)%

 

 

 

$280

 

$420

 

(33)%

Per share, diluted

 

$0.76

 

$0.86

 

(12)%

 

 

 

$2.37

 

$3.21

 

(26)%

Operating Revenue1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Total operating revenue

 

$588

 

$606

 

(3)%

 

 

 

$1,838

 

$2,070

 

(11)%

Financial Advisory

 

$304

 

$304

 

%

 

 

 

$963

 

$1,108

 

(13)%

Asset Management

 

$283

 

$302

 

(6)%

 

 

 

$858

 

$961

 

(11)%

AUM ($ in billions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period End

 

$231

 

$240

 

(4)%

 

 

     

Average

 

$234

 

$240

 

(3)%

 

 

 

$233

 

$247

 

(6)%

Note: Endnotes are on page 6 of this release. A reconciliation of U.S. GAAP to adjusted GAAP is on pages 13-14.

OPERATING REVENUE

Operating revenue1 was $588 million for the third quarter of 2019, down 3% from the third quarter of 2018, and $1,838 million for the first nine months of 2019, down 11% from the first nine months of 2018.

Financial Advisory

Our Financial Advisory results include M&A Advisory, Capital Advisory, Capital Raising, Restructuring, Shareholder Advisory, Sovereign Advisory, and other strategic advisory work for clients.

For the third quarter of 2019, Financial Advisory operating revenue was $304 million, approximately even with the third quarter of 2018. These results reflected an increase in M&A completions in North America, offset by a decrease in Europe.

For the first nine months of 2019, Financial Advisory operating revenue was $963 million, 13% lower than the record first nine months of 2018.

During and since the third quarter of 2019, Lazard has been engaged in significant and complex M&A transactions and other advisory assignments globally, including the following (clients are in italics): Special Committee of the Board of CBS in CBS’s $48 billion merger with Viacom; The Supervisory Board of Takeaway.com on the company’s €10.6 billion combination with Just Eat; a consortium consisting of KIRKBI, Blackstone and CPPIB, in its recommended acquisition of Merlin Entertainments, valuing Merlin at £5.9 billion; Gilead’s R&D collaboration with Galapagos, including $5.1 billion in an upfront payment and an equity investment; Sempra Energy on its $3.6 billion sale of its equity interests in its Peruvian businesses to China Yangtze Power, and its $2.2 billion sale of its equity interests in its Chilean businesses to State Grid International Development; Rabobank’s $2.1 billion sale of Rabobank, National Association to Mechanics Bank; Exotic Metals in its $1.7 billion sale to Parker Hannifin; and Carrefour’s sale of an 80% interest in Carrefour China to Suning.com.

During and since the third quarter of 2019 we have been engaged in a broad range of highly visible and complex restructuring and debt advisory assignments for debtors and creditors, including roles involving: Debenhams; FirstEnergy Solutions; Forever 21; Global Cloud Xchange; PG&E; and Weatherford International.

Our Capital and Shareholder Advisory practices remain active globally, advising on a broad range of public and private assignments. Our Sovereign Advisory practice continues to be active advising governments, sovereign and sub-sovereign entities across developed and emerging markets.

For a list of publicly announced Financial Advisory transactions on which Lazard advised in the third quarter of 2019, or continued to advise or completed since September 30, 2019, please visit our website at www.lazard.com/businesses/transactions.

Asset Management

In the text portion of this press release, we present our Asset Management results as 1) Management fees and other revenue, and 2) Incentive fees.

For the third quarter of 2019, Asset Management operating revenue was $283 million, 6% lower than the third quarter of 2018. For the first nine months of 2019, Asset Management operating revenue was $858 million, 11% lower than the record first nine months of 2018.

Management fees and other revenue was $281 million for the third quarter of 2019, 6% lower than the third quarter of 2018, and 2% lower than the second quarter of 2019. For the first nine months of 2019, management fees and other revenue was $850 million, 10% lower than the first nine months of 2018.

Average assets under management (AUM) for the third quarter of 2019 was $234 billion, 3% lower than the third quarter of 2018, and 1% lower than the second quarter of 2019. Average AUM for the first nine months of 2019 was $233 billion, 6% lower than the first nine months of 2018.

AUM as of September 30, 2019, was $231 billion, down 4% from September 30, 2018, and down 3% from June 30, 2019. The sequential decrease was driven by foreign exchange depreciation of $4.4 billion and net outflows of $4.4 billion, offset by market appreciation of $2.2 billion.

For the third quarter of 2019, incentive fees were $1 million, compared to $2 million for the third quarter of 2018. For the first nine months of 2019, incentive fees were $7 million, compared to $20 million for the first nine months of 2018.

OPERATING EXPENSES

We conducted a review of our business, which resulted in a realignment that included employee reductions and the closing of subscale offices and investment strategies, most of which were completed during the third quarter of 2019. These actions resulted in an expense of $51.5 million in the third quarter, which is excluded from our adjusted results. We believe these actions better align the business with changes in the marketplace and create greater flexibility to focus on strategic growth opportunities.

Compensation and Benefits

In managing compensation and benefits expense, we focus on annual awarded compensation (cash compensation and benefits plus deferred incentive compensation with respect to the applicable year, net of estimated future forfeitures and excluding charges). We believe annual awarded compensation reflects the actual annual compensation cost more accurately than the GAAP measure of compensation cost, which includes applicable-year cash compensation and the amortization of deferred incentive compensation principally attributable to previous years’ deferred compensation. We believe that by managing our business using awarded compensation with a consistent deferral policy, we can better manage our compensation costs, increase our flexibility in the future and build shareholder value over time.

For the third quarter of 2019, we accrued adjusted compensation and benefits expense1 at an adjusted compensation1 ratio of 57.5%. This resulted in $338 million of adjusted compensation and benefits expense, flat with the third quarter of 2018.

For the first nine months of 2019, adjusted compensation and benefits expensewas $1,057 million, compared to $1,155 million for the first nine months of 2018.

We manage our compensation and benefits expense based on awarded compensation with a consistent deferral policy. We take a disciplined approach to compensation, and our goal is to maintain a compensation-to-operating revenue ratio over the cycle in the mid- to high-50s percentage range on both an awarded and adjusted basis, with consistent deferral policies.

Non-Compensation Expense

For the third quarter of 2019, adjusted non-compensation expense1 was $125 million, 15% higher than the third quarter of 2018. The increase reflects business development expenses and investments in technology infrastructure. The ratio of adjusted non-compensation expense to operating revenue1 for the third quarter of 2019 was 21.3%, compared to 18.1% for the third quarter of 2018.

For the first nine months of 2019, adjusted non-compensation expense was $369 million, 8% higher than the first nine months of 2018. The ratio of adjusted non-compensation expense to operating revenue for the first nine months of 2019 was 20.1%, compared to 16.5% for the first nine months of 2018.

Our goal remains to achieve an adjusted non-compensation expense-to-operating revenue ratio over the cycle of 16% to 20%.

TAXES

The provision for taxes, on an adjusted basis1, was $18 million for the third quarter of 2019 and $78 million for the first nine months of 2019. The effective tax rate on the same basis was 16.6% for the third quarter and 21.7% for the first nine months of 2019, compared to 23.0% and 21.2% for the respective 2018 periods.

CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND BALANCE SHEET

Our primary capital management goals include managing debt and returning capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

For the third quarter of 2019, Lazard returned $130 million to shareholders, which included: $50 million in dividends; $79 million in share repurchases of our Class A common stock; and $1 million in satisfaction of employee tax obligations in lieu of share issuances upon vesting of equity grants.

For the first nine months of 2019, Lazard returned $733 million to shareholders, which included: $206 million in dividends; $430 million in share repurchases of our Class A common stock; and $97 million in satisfaction of employee tax obligations in lieu of share issuances upon vesting of equity grants.

During the first nine months of 2019, we repurchased 11.9 million shares at an average price of $36.01 per share, which included 2.2 million shares repurchased in the third quarter at an average price of $35.20 per share.

On October 30, 2019, our Board of Directors authorized additional share repurchases of up to $300 million, which expires as of December 31, 2021, bringing our total outstanding share repurchase authorization to $437 million.

On October 30, 2019, Lazard declared a quarterly dividend of $0.47 per share on its outstanding common stock. The dividend is payable on November 22, 2019, to stockholders of record on November 11, 2019.

Lazard’s financial position remains strong. As of September 30, 2019, our cash and cash equivalents were $959 million, and stockholders’ equity related to Lazard’s interests was $613 million.

CONFERENCE CALL

Lazard will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m. EDT on October 31, 2019, to discuss the company’s financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2019. The conference call can be accessed via a live audio webcast available through Lazard’s Investor Relations website at www.lazard.com, or by dialing 1 (888) 394-8218 (toll-free, U.S. and Canada) or +1 (323) 701-0225 (outside of the U.S. and Canada), 15 minutes prior to the start of the call.

A replay of the conference call will be available by 10:00 a.m. EDT on October 31, 2019, via the Lazard Investor Relations website at www.lazard.com, or by dialing 1 (888) 203-1112 (toll-free, U.S. and Canada) or +1 (719) 457-0820 (outside of the U.S. and Canada). The replay access code is: 1856836.

ABOUT LAZARD

Lazard, one of the world’s preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 43 cities across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. With origins dating to 1848, the firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and individuals. For more information on Lazard, please visit www.lazard.com. Follow Lazard at @Lazard.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may”, “might”, “will”, “should”, “could”, “would”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “predict”, “potential”, “target,” “goal”, or “continue”, and the negative of these terms and other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements, which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions about us, may include projections of our future financial performance based on our growth strategies, business plans and initiatives and anticipated trends in our business. These statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and projections about future events. There are important factors that could cause our actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results, level of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

These factors include, but are not limited to, those discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K under Item 1A “Risk Factors,” and also discussed from time to time in our reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K, including the following:

  • A decline in general economic conditions or the global or regional financial markets;
  • A decline in our revenues, for example due to a decline in overall mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, our share of the M&A market or our assets under management (AUM);
  • Losses caused by financial or other problems experienced by third parties;
  • Losses due to unidentified or unanticipated risks;
  • A lack of liquidity, i.e., ready access to funds, for use in our businesses; and
  • Competitive pressure on our businesses and on our ability to retain and attract employees at current compensation levels.

Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance or achievements. Neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any of these forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We are under no duty to update any of these forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform our prior statements to actual results or revised expectations and we do not intend to do so.

Lazard Ltd is committed to providing timely and accurate information to the investing public, consistent with our legal and regulatory obligations. To that end, Lazard and its operating companies use their websites, Lazard’s Twitter account (twitter.com/Lazard) and other social media sites to convey information about their businesses, including the anticipated release of quarterly financial results, quarterly financial, statistical and business-related information, and the posting of updates of assets under management in various mutual funds, hedge funds and other investment products managed by Lazard Asset Management LLC and Lazard Frères Gestion SAS. Investors can link to Lazard and its operating company websites through www.lazard.com.

ENDNOTES

1 A non-U.S. GAAP measure. See attached financial schedules and related notes for a detailed explanation of adjustments to corresponding U.S. GAAP results. We believe that presenting our results on an adjusted basis, in addition to U.S. GAAP results, is the most meaningful and useful way to compare our operating results across periods.

2 Adjusted results1 for the third-quarter and first nine months of 2019 exclude the following items on a pre-tax-basis: (i) $51.5 million in third-quarter costs associated with a business realignment that included employee reductions and the closing of subscale offices and investment strategies; (ii) $2.4 million and $13.2 million, respectively, of costs associated with the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system; (iii) $6.8 million relating to a first quarter debt refinancing by Lazard Ltd’s subsidiary Lazard Group LLC; (iv) ($0.1) million and $7.6 million, respectively, of acquisition-related (benefits) costs, primarily reflecting changes in fair value of contingent consideration associated with certain business acquisitions; (v) $11.9 million of private equity investment adjustments in the second quarter; and (vi) $1.1 million in third-quarter costs related to office space reorganization. On a U.S. GAAP basis, these items resulted in a net charge of $42 million, or $0.36 (diluted) per share, for the third quarter, and a net charge of $70 million, or $0.60 (diluted) per share, for the first nine months of 2019.

LAZ-EPE

 

LAZARD LTD

UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

(U.S. GAAP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

% Change From

 

September 30,

June 30,

September 30,

 

June 30,

September 30,

($ in thousands, except per share data)

2019

2019

2018

 

2019

2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenue

$611,073

$650,801

$640,800

 

(6%)

(5%)

Interest expense

(20,005)

(20,111)

(14,319)

 

 

 

Net revenue

591,068

630,690

626,481

 

(6%)

(6%)

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compensation and benefits

391,363

372,470

343,987

 

5%

14%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupancy and equipment

29,856

30,953

28,848

 

 

 

Marketing and business development

27,318

28,784

21,868

 

 

 

Technology and information services

34,076

38,825

36,394

 

 

 

Professional services

15,105

19,144

13,353

 

 

 

Fund administration and outsourced services

28,425

28,493

34,748

 

 

 

Amortization and other acquisition-related costs (benefits)

1,022

5,042

(5,851)

 

 

 

Other

11,530

5,294

14,453

 

 

 

Subtotal

147,332

156,535

143,813

 

(6%)

2%

Operating expenses

538,695

529,005

487,800

 

2%

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

52,373

101,685

138,681

 

(48%)

(62%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provision for income taxes

4,177

28,172

29,956

 

(85%)

(86%)

Net income

48,196

73,513

108,725

 

(34%)

(56%)

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

1,492

7,736

1,651

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Lazard Ltd

$46,704

$65,777

$107,074

 

(29%)

(56%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to Lazard Ltd Common Stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

109,285,727

111,981,204

119,456,516

 

(2%)

(9%)

Diluted

113,881,690

116,175,349

129,859,728

 

(2%)

(12%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$0.42

$0.57

$0.90

 

(26%)

(53%)

Diluted

$0.40

$0.55

$0.82

 

(27%)

(51%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAZARD LTD

UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

(U.S. GAAP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nine Months Ended

 

 

September 30,

September 30,

 

 

 

($ in thousands, except per share data)

2019

2018

 

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenue

$1,923,552

$2,180,533

 

(12%)

 

Interest expense

(58,120)

(41,416)

 

 

 

Net revenue

1,865,432

2,139,117

 

(13%)

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

Compensation and benefits

1,136,087

1,165,193

 

(2%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupancy and equipment

89,104

88,326

 

 

 

Marketing and business development

84,086

75,755

 

 

 

Technology and information services

104,956

102,173

 

 

 

Professional services

48,466

42,498

 

 

 

Fund administration and outsourced services

85,848

103,159

 

 

 

Amortization and other acquisition-related costs (benefits)

9,534

(13,468)

 

 

 

Other

33,630

51,032

 

 

 

Subtotal

455,624

449,475

 

1%

 

Operating expenses

1,591,711

1,614,668

 

(1%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

273,721

524,449

 

(48%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provision for income taxes

55,536

105,684

 

(47%)

 

Net income

218,185

418,765

 

(48%)

 

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

8,662

5,036

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Lazard Ltd

$209,523

$413,729

 

(49%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to Lazard Ltd Common Stockholders:

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

111,070,395

119,897,626

 

(7%)

 

Diluted

116,959,041

130,750,392

 

(11%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$1.87

$3.45

 

(46%)

 

Diluted

$1.77

$3.16

 

(44%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAZARD LTD
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED
STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL CONDITION
(U.S. GAAP)
 
September 30, December 31,
($ in thousands)

2019

 

2018

 
ASSETS
 
Cash and cash equivalents

$959,001

$1,246,537

Deposits with banks and short-term investments

1,289,288

1,006,969

Cash deposited with clearing organizations and other segregated cash

40,280

38,379

Receivables

668,167

685,534

Investments

535,848

575,148

Goodwill and other intangible assets

368,996

375,318

Operating lease right-of-use assets

558,723

Deferred tax assets

601,183

597,776

Other assets

530,393

471,580

 

Total Assets

$5,551,879

$4,997,241

 
LIABILITIES & STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 
Liabilities
Deposits and other customer payables

$1,405,836

$1,154,207

Accrued compensation and benefits

418,779

585,484

Senior debt

1,678,921

1,434,260

Tax receivable agreement obligation

246,953

270,640

Operating lease liabilities

652,681

Other liabilities

462,488

582,557

Total liabilities

4,865,658

4,027,148

 
Commitments and contingencies
 
Stockholders’ equity
Preferred stock, par value $.01 per share

Common stock, par value $.01 per share

1,298

1,298

Additional paid-in capital

682,003

750,692

Retained earnings

1,168,382

1,195,563

Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax

(288,621)

(273,818)

Subtotal

1,563,062

1,673,735

Class A common stock held by subsidiaries, at cost

(949,620)

(756,884)

Total Lazard Ltd stockholders’ equity

613,442

916,851

Noncontrolling interests

72,779

53,242

Total stockholders’ equity

686,221

970,093

 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$5,551,879

$4,997,241

 
LAZARD LTD
SELECTED SUMMARY FINANCIAL INFORMATION (a)
(Non-GAAP – unaudited)
Three Months Ended % Change From
September 30, June 30, September 30, June 30, September 30,
($ in thousands, except per share data)

2019

2019

2018

 

2019

2018

 
Revenues:
 
Financial Advisory

$303,901

$328,814

$303,769

(8%)

0%

Asset Management

282,596

291,269

301,527

(3%)

(6%)

Corporate

1,765

9,617

314

(82%)

NM

 
Operating revenue (b)

$588,262

$629,700

$605,610

(7%)

(3%)

 
Expenses:
 
Adjusted compensation and benefits expense (c)

$338,250

$362,078

$337,930

(7%)

0%

Ratio of adjusted compensation to operating revenue

57.5%

57.5%

55.8%

 
Non-compensation expense (d)

$125,185

$128,014

$109,330

(2%)

15%

Ratio of non-compensation to operating revenue

21.3%

20.3%

18.1%

 
Earnings:
 
Earnings from operations (e)

$124,827

$139,608

$158,350

(11%)

(21%)

Operating margin (f)

21.2%

22.2%

26.1%

 
Adjusted net income (g)

$88,260

$85,746

$111,424

3%

(21%)

 
Diluted adjusted net income per share

$0.76

$0.73

$0.86

4%

(12%)

 
Diluted weighted average shares (h)

115,513,679

117,422,884

129,859,728

(2%)

(11%)

 
Effective tax rate (i)

16.6%

28.8%

23.0%

 

This presentation includes non-GAAP measures. Our non-GAAP measures are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the corresponding U.S. GAAP measures, and should be read only in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. For a detailed explanation of the adjustments made to the corresponding U.

Contacts

Media Contact: Judi Frost Mackey +1 212 632 1428 judi.mackey@lazard.com

Investor Contact: Alexandra Deignan +1 212 632 6886 alexandra.deignan@lazard.com

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