October 25, 2018 / 11:49 AM / 25 days ago

Lazard profit misses on lower restructuring advisory fees

(Reuters) - Financial adviser Lazard Ltd’s (LAZ.N) quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates on Thursday, as a weak restructuring business overshadowed robust M&A advisory fees.

Financial advisory business has been sluggish for several of the big U.S. investment banks such as Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) as an escalating U.S.-China trade dispute weighed on global deal-making activity and equity raises.

Revenue in Lazard’s financial advisory business slipped 1 percent year-over-year to $304 million in the third quarter.

Lazard is often seen as a bellwether for the mergers and acquisitions advisory industry. In the quarter, the company completed several high-profile deals such as WGL Holdings’ $6.4 billion sale to AltaGas and Total’s 2.5 billion euro acquisition of Direct Energie.

Asset management revenue fell 4 percent to $302 million.

Lazard has been growing its asset management business by targeting high net worth individuals to ensure a steady income stream and reduce the effect of market volatility on its business.

Total revenue rose marginally to $640.8 million.

Net income attributable to Lazard fell to $107.1 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $109.2 million a year earlier. reut.rs/2PPoPNH

Earnings per share were flat at 82 cents per share.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 86 cents per share, missing analysts’ estimates of 93 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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