Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) and Hamilton Lane (NASDAQ:HLNE) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Dividends

Lazard pays an annual dividend of $1.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.1%. Hamilton Lane pays an annual dividend of $0.85 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Lazard pays out 46.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Hamilton Lane pays out 51.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Lazard has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Lazard is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility and Risk

Lazard has a beta of 1.8, suggesting that its share price is 80% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hamilton Lane has a beta of 1.07, suggesting that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Lazard and Hamilton Lane, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lazard 0 2 7 0 2.78
Hamilton Lane 0 1 1 0 2.50

Lazard currently has a consensus target price of $60.29, suggesting a potential upside of 39.81%. Hamilton Lane has a consensus target price of $49.50, suggesting a potential upside of 28.04%. Given Lazard’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Lazard is more favorable than Hamilton Lane.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

71.9% of Lazard shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.4% of Hamilton Lane shares are held by institutional investors. 2.8% of Lazard shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 53.7% of Hamilton Lane shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Lazard and Hamilton Lane’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lazard $2.70 billion 2.07 $253.58 million $3.78 11.41
Hamilton Lane $244.03 million 7.72 $17.34 million $1.64 23.57

Lazard has higher revenue and earnings than Hamilton Lane. Lazard is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Hamilton Lane, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Lazard and Hamilton Lane’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lazard 11.58% 47.49% 12.07%
Hamilton Lane 8.14% 63.94% 27.50%

Summary

Lazard beats Hamilton Lane on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Lazard

Lazard Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm worldwide. Its Financial Advisory segment offers various financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions and other strategic matters, restructurings, capital structure, capital raising, shareholder advisory, and various other financial matters. This segment serves corporate, partnership, institutional, government, sovereign, and individual clients. The company's Asset Management segment offers a range of investment solutions and investment management services in equity and fixed income strategies; and alternative investments and private equity funds to corporations, public funds, sovereign entities, endowments and foundations, labor funds, financial intermediaries, and private clients. Lazard Ltd was founded in 1848 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

About Hamilton Lane

Hamilton Lane Incorporated is an investment firm specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. It provides following services: separate accounts (customized to each individual client and structured as single client vehicles); specialized strategies (fund-of-funds, secondaries, co-investments, taft-hartley, distribution management); advisory relationships (including due diligence, strategic portfolio planning, monitoring and reporting services); and reporting and analytics solutions. For direct investments, the firm invests in mid and late venture, mature companies, growth equity, emerging growth, distressed debt, later stage, turnarounds, bridge financing, mezzanine financing, and buyouts in middle market companies. For fund of fund investments, it invests in mezzanine, venture capital, private equity, turnaround, secondary investments, real estate, and special situation funds. The firm invests in real estate investments. It also invest in technology, healthcare, education, natural resources, energy and essential consumer goods sectors, and cleantech. The firm prefer to invest $1 million to $100 million in companies. It invests in private equity markets in North America, Latin America, United States, Western Europe, Middle East, Africa, United Kingdom, Asia, Japan, and Australia. It prefer to have majority stake in companies. Hamilton Lane Incorporated was founded in 1991 and is based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania with additional thirteen offices across Europe, North America, and Asia.

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