Funds News

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-M&A advisory, asset management drive Lazard's profit beat

(Corrects assets under management to $251.7 billion from $251.7 million in paragraph 5)

April 26 (Reuters) - Lazard Ltd posted a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday as a rise in global deal making helped its financial advisory business, while its asset management business gained from a booming stock market.

Revenue from financial advisory business, which includes M&A advisory, rose 15.8 percent as it closed several high-profile deals, including U.S. power generator Calpine Corp’s $17.1 billion sale to a consortium led by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners.

The company had a market share of 11.2 percent for completed deals globally in the latest quarter, making it the seventh biggest adviser, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Lazard’s asset management business also grew at a rapid clip in the quarter, accounting for 45.6 percent of the total operating revenue.

Assets under management increased 17 percent to $251.7 billion, driven by net inflows across global and emerging markets equities and fixed income.

Total revenue jumped 20.5 percent to $768.2 million, while provision for income taxes fell 39.2 percent due to the U.S. tax reforms.

The company said in the fourth quarter it was reviewing whether to convert into a “C Corporation” from its current status as a public partnership after changes to the U.S. tax code.

Net income attributable to Lazard rose to $159.7 million, or $1.21 per share, in the quarter ended March 31 from $107.6 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.26 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.04, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva