Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) and Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, valuation, earnings, risk and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Lazard and Affiliated Managers Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lazard 1 4 0 0 1.80
Affiliated Managers Group 0 4 3 0 2.43

Lazard currently has a consensus price target of $42.40, suggesting a potential upside of 21.84%. Affiliated Managers Group has a consensus price target of $126.98, suggesting a potential upside of 41.07%. Given Affiliated Managers Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Affiliated Managers Group is more favorable than Lazard.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Lazard and Affiliated Managers Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lazard $2.88 billion 1.57 $527.13 million $4.16 8.37
Affiliated Managers Group $2.38 billion 1.94 $243.60 million $14.50 6.21

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

Profitability

This table compares Lazard and Affiliated Managers Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lazard 16.72% 48.17% 9.54%
Affiliated Managers Group -4.77% 17.72% 8.92%

Volatility and Risk

Lazard has a beta of 1.66, meaning that its share price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Affiliated Managers Group has a beta of 1.63, meaning that its share price is 63% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

65.6% of Lazard shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.7% of Affiliated Managers Group shares are held by institutional investors. 2.9% of Lazard shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.4% of Affiliated Managers Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Lazard pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.4%. Affiliated Managers Group pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Lazard pays out 45.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Affiliated Managers Group pays out 8.8% 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 8 consecutive years. Lazard is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Lazard beats Affiliated Managers Group on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lazard Company Profile

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.

Affiliated Managers Group Company Profile

Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., through its affiliates, operates as an asset management company providing investment management services to mutual funds, institutional clients, and high net worth individuals in the United States. It provides advisory or subadvisory services to mutual funds. These funds are distributed to retail and institutional clients directly and through intermediaries, including independent investment advisors, retirement plan sponsors, broker-dealers, major fund marketplaces, and bank trust departments. The company also offers investment products in various investment styles in the institutional distribution channel, including small, small/mid, mid, and large capitalization value and growth equity, and emerging markets. In addition, it offers quantitative, alternative, and fixed income products, and manages assets for foundations and endowments, defined benefit, and defined contribution plans for corporations and municipalities. Affiliated Managers Group provides investment management or customized investment counseling and fiduciary services. The company was formed as a corporation under the laws of Delaware in 1993. Affiliated Managers Group is based in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts.

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