Lazard Ltd Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2012 Results
Net income per share, as adjusted1, of $1.44 (diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2012, and $0.61 (diluted) for the 2012 fourth quarter, excluding charges in both periods2; compared to $1.31 (diluted) and $0.01 (diluted) for the respective 2011 periods
Operating revenue1of $1,971 million for 2012, up 5% from full-year 2011; fourth-quarter 2012 operating revenue of $574 million, up 22% from prior-year period
Financial Advisory operating revenue of $1,049 million for 2012, up 6% from full-year 2011; Financial Advisory fourth-quarter 2012 operating revenue of $309 million, up 19% from prior-year period
M&A and Other Advisory operating revenue of $793 million for 2012, up 13% from full-year 2011; M&A and Other Advisory fourth-quarter 2012 operating revenue of $234 million, up 40% from prior-year period
Asset Management operating revenue of $882 million for 2012, effectively matching the record full-year 2011 period; fourth-quarter 2012 operating revenue of $245 million, up 20% from prior-year period and up 11% from third-quarter 2012
Assets under management as of December 31, 2012, a record $167 billion, up 18% from year-end 2011 and up 4% from September 30, 2012. Net inflows of $2.7 billion for full-year 2012; net outflows of $47 million for fourth-quarter 2012
Implementation of recently announced cost saving initiatives on plan, with related fourth-quarter 2012 charge of $103 million
Return of capital to shareholders totaling $540 million3in 2012
($ in millions, except
per share data and AUM)
Diluted net income per share2
Diluted net income per share
Ending AUM($ in billions)
Average AUM($ in billions)
Lazard Ltd (NYS: LAZ) today reported operating revenue1 of $1,971 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. Net income, as adjusted1, was $195 million, or $1.44 per share (diluted) for the full year. These results exclude pre-tax charges of $103 million relating to the implementation of recently announced cost saving initiatives in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $25 million relating to staff reductions in the first quarter of 2012.
Fourth-quarter 2012 operating revenue was $574 million. Net income, as adjusted, was $82 million, or $0.61 per share (diluted) for the fourth quarter of 2012. These results exclude pre-tax charges of $103 million relating to recently announced cost saving initiatives in the fourth quarter.
Full-year 2012 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis was $84 million, or $0.65 per share (diluted). Fourth-quarter 2012 net loss on a U.S. GAAP basis was $5 million, or $(0.05) per share. A reconciliation of our U.S. GAAP results to the adjusted results is presented on page 20 of this press release.
"Lazard's 2012 results underscore the strength and resilience of our business model," said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. "Operating revenue is near record levels, reflecting the increasing diversification of our global franchise and our ability to anticipate the evolving needs of our clients."
"As we reinforce the breadth and depth of our client services around the world, we are building shareholder value by enhancing our profitability and increasing our operating leverage. Lazard is well positioned for growth as the macro environment improves," said Mr. Jacobs.
"The implementation of cost saving initiatives we announced in October is on track," said Matthieu Bucaille, Chief Financial Officer of Lazard. "We are making progress toward our financial goals set in April 2012, which include an operating margin of 25% in 2014, based on 2012 activity levels."
"In 2012, we returned $540 million in capital to shareholders, about 16% of Lazard's year-end market capitalization," said Mr. Bucaille. "This was a strong year for returning capital to shareholders as we achieved our goal of returning $200 million in surplus cash while paying a special dividend and accelerating the year's final quarterly dividend. Going forward, we remain committed to offsetting potential share dilution from equity-related compensation, and it is our plan to continue to deploy future excess cash toward dividends, share repurchases and debt repurchases."
In the text portion of this press release, we present our Financial Advisory results as Strategic Advisory and Restructuring. Strategic Advisory includes 1) M&A and Other Advisory (Other includes Capital Structure Advisory and Sovereign Advisory) and 2) Capital Raising (includes Capital Markets Advisory and Private Fund Advisory).
Financial Advisory operating revenue was $1,049 million in the full year of 2012, 6% higher than 2011, reflecting an increase in Strategic Advisory operating revenue, offset by a decrease in Restructuring operating revenue.
Strategic Advisory operating revenue was $866 million, 9% higher than 2011, driven by a 13% increase in M&A and Other Advisory revenue compared to the prior-year period.
Restructuring operating revenue was $183 million, 8% lower than 2011, generally in line with the industry-wide low level of corporate restructuring activity. Lazard was the leader in global completed and announced restructurings in 2012.*
During 2012, Lazard remained engaged in highly visible, complex M&A transactions and other advisory assignments, including cross-border transactions, spin-offs, distressed asset sales, capital structure and sovereign advisory, in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Lazard advised on several of the largest global M&A transactions announced in 2012, including (clients are in italics): Deutsche Telekom on the $32.8 billion combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS; Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20.1 billion acquisition of the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo it does not already own; GDF Suez/Electrabel in the $12.6 billion acquisition of the 30% stake it did not already own in International Power; and Qatar Holding on its stake in Xstrata in connection with the proposed merger with Glencore International.
Our Sovereign Advisory business remained active in worldwide assignments, including: advising the government of Greece on the completion of its successful bond exchange, the largest in history; acting as financial agent to the U.S. Department of Treasury with respect to General Motors and Ally Financial; and advising the Kazakhstan Sovereign Wealth Fund-owned BTA Bank JSC on its restructuring and recapitalization plan.
During 2012 we were involved in many of the most notable recent restructurings, including: Lehman Brothers; the Allied Pilots Association with respect to American Airlines; Eastman Kodak; Hostess Brands; and Tribune Company.
Please see a more complete list of M&A and Restructuring assignments on which Lazard advised on pages 9-11 of this release.
* Source: Thomson Reuters
Financial Advisory operating revenue was $309 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, 19% higher than the fourth quarter of 2011.
Strategic Advisory operating revenue was $261 million, 41% higher than the fourth quarter of 2011. This included a 40% increase in M&A and Other Advisory revenue compared to the prior-year period, due in part to a higher level of closings prior to year-end.
Restructuring operating revenue was $48 million, 36% lower than the strong fourth quarter of 2011.
Please see a list of M&A and Restructuring assignments on which Lazard advised in the 2012 fourth quarter, or continued to advise, or completed since December 31, 2012, on pages 9-11 of this release.
Asset Management operating revenue was $882 million in the full year of 2012, essentially matching the record full-year 2011 period. Net inflows were $2.7 billion for the year. Despite volatile equity markets, Asset Management has achieved net inflows in five of the past six years.
Assets under management (AUM) were a record $167 billion as of December 31, 2012, up 18% from December 31, 2011, reflecting market appreciation and net inflows. AUM as of December 31, 2012, was up 4% from September 30, 2012. Average AUM of $156 billion in 2012 was 2% higher than average AUM in 2011.
Management fees were $806 million in 2012, 1% lower than 2011, reflecting the 2% increase in average AUM, a change in the mix of our AUM, and foreign exchange fluctuations.
Incentive fees during the period totaled $44 million, 66% higher than 2011, reflecting the performance of certain traditional and alternative strategies.
In 2012, we continued to invest in our Asset Management business, extending our investment platforms with new strategies. In addition, Lazard Asset Management opened an office in Zurich, increasing our distribution and investment capabilities.
We continued to win significant new mandates in most of our major platforms from clients around the world. A sample of these new mandates is reflected in the investor presentation on our website.
Asset Management operating revenue was $245 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 20% increase over the prior-year period and 11% higher than the third quarter of 2012. Net outflows were $47 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Average AUM for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $164 billion, 17% higher than the prior-year period and 5% higher than the third quarter of 2012.
Management fees were $209 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, 10% higher than the prior-year period and 3% higher than the third quarter of 2012. The sequential increase is generally consistent with the increase in average AUM.
Incentive fees were $27 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $5 million in the prior-year period, primarily reflecting the performance of alternative strategies, as well as certain traditional strategies.
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.
Adjusted GAAP compensation and benefits expense1 for full-year 2012 was $1,218 million, which excludes related 2012 charges2, compared to $1,168 million for 2011. The corresponding adjusted GAAP compensation ratio was 61.8% for the year, compared to 62.0% for 2011.
The 2012 adjusted GAAP compensation ratio includes, among other items, amortization expense related to 2008 deferred compensation, which had a comparatively longer, four-year vesting period. For full-year 2012, we expensed approximately $40 million related to the 2008 grants, or 2% of 2012 operating revenue.
Our 2012 awarded compensation ratio was 59.4%, compared to our 2011 awarded compensation ratio of 62.0%. Awarded compensation expense for 2012 was $1,171 million, essentially unchanged from 2011, even as operating revenue rose 5%.
Our goal remains to grow awarded compensation expense at a slower rate than revenue growth, and to achieve a compensation-to-operating revenue ratio over the cycle in the mid- to high-50s percentage range on both an awarded and adjusted GAAP basis, with consistent deferral policies.
Adjusted non-compensation expense1 for full-year 2012 was $421 million, excluding related 2012 charges2, 5% higher than 2011. In 2012, non-compensation expense was negatively impacted by higher occupancy costs and transaction-related third-party fees, partly offset by lower professional fees. The ratio of adjusted non-compensation expense to operating revenue for 2012 was 21.4%, essentially unchanged compared to 2011.
Adjusted non-compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2012, excluding related 2012 charges, was $115 million, 6% higher than the prior-year period. The ratio of adjusted non-compensation expense to operating revenue for fourth-quarter 2012 was 20.0%, compared to 23.2% for fourth-quarter 2011.
Our goal remains to achieve an adjusted non-compensation expense-to-operating revenue ratio over the cycle of 16% to 20%.
The provision for taxes, on an adjusted basis1, was $53 million for full-year 2012 and $15 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. The effective tax rate on such adjusted basis was 21.3% for full-year 2012, compared to 20.7% for full-year 2011.
CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND BALANCE SHEET
Our primary capital management goals include managing debt and returning capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
In 2012, we achieved our objective of returning $200 million of surplus cash4 to shareholders, in advance of our year-end 2013 target.
For the full-year 2012, Lazard returned $540 million to shareholders, which included $140 million in dividends, $355 million in share repurchases and $45 million in satisfaction of employee tax obligations in lieu of share issuances upon vesting of equity grants. The $140 million of dividends included $23 million in a fourth-quarter special dividend of $0.20 per share on outstanding Class A common stock and $23 million in acceleration of the fourth-quarter dividend of $0.20 per share on outstanding Class A common stock, which ordinarily would have been payable in February 2013.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, we repurchased 4.6 million shares of our Class A common stock for $132 million, at an average price of $28.76 per share. This brought total share repurchases in full-year 2012 to $355 million, at an average price of $27.66 per share.
Lazard's financial position remains strong. Our cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2012, were $850 million, the majority of which were invested in U.S. Government and agency money market funds. As of December 31, 2012, total stockholders' equity related to Lazard's interests was $570 million.
COST SAVING INITIATIVES
In Lazard's third-quarter 2012 earnings release, the firm announced cost saving initiatives expected to result in approximately $125 million in annual savings from our existing cost base.
The cost saving initiatives are intended to improve the firm's profitability with minimal impact on revenue growth. Approximately $85 million relates to compensation expenses associated with reduced staffing, and approximately $40 million to non-compensation expense. The cost saving initiatives include: streamlining our corporate structure and consolidating support functions; realigning the firm's investments into areas with potential for the greatest long-term return; and creating greater flexibility to retain and attract the best people and invest in new growth areas.
Associated implementation expenses are expected to range between $110 million and $130 million and to be primarily compensation-related. The implementation of these initiatives proceeded according to plan during the fourth quarter of 2012, and associated expenses were $103 million in the quarter, with the remainder expected to occur in the first half of 2013. Approximately 75% of the implementation expenses are expected to be paid in cash.
Lazard continues to make progress toward the financial goals announced in April 2012. As of December 31, 2012, we have achieved:
An awarded compensation-to-operating revenue ratio1 of 59.4%, down from 62.0% for 2011
An adjusted non-compensation expense-to-operating revenue ratio1 of 21.4%, approximately even with 2011.
An operating margin based on awarded compensation5 of 19.2%, up from 16.8% for 2011. We are making progress toward our operating margin target of 25% in 2014 based on 2012 activity levels
Return of capital to shareholders totaling $540 million3, including $200 million in surplus cash4 one year ahead of target
We believe our financial discipline is increasing the firm's operating leverage, putting Lazard in a strong position to benefit from potential revenue growth.
Lazard will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 7, 2013, to discuss the company's financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2012. 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) 206-4835 (U.S. and Canada) or +1 (913) 312-1447 (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. EST February 7, 2013, through February 21, 2013, via the Lazard Investor Relations website, or by dialing 1 (888) 203-1112 (U.S. and Canada) or +1 (719) 457-0820 (outside of the U.S. and Canada). The replay access code is 4223141.
Lazard, one of the world's preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 42 cities across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. With origins dating back 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.
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", "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 are not historical facts but instead represent only our belief regarding future results, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of our control. 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 disclosed 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 financial markets;
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 our employees.
Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our estimated targets, future results, level of activity, performance or achievements. Moreover, 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 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 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 hedge funds and mutual funds and other investment products managed by Lazard Asset Management LLC and its subsidiaries. Investors can link to Lazard and its operating company websites throughwww.lazard.com.
FINANCIAL ADVISORY ASSIGNMENTS
Mergers and Acquisitions (Completed in the fourth quarter of 2012)
Among the large, publicly announced M&A Advisory transactions or assignments completed during the fourth quarter of 2012 on which Lazard advised were the following:
Carrefour in the€2.0 billion sale of its business in Colombia to Cencosud
Hertz's $2.3 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty
ANF Immobilier's €786 million sale of a real estate portfolio to a consortium led by Foncière des Murs and to funds managed by Grosvenor
OPNET Technologies' $1.0 billion sale to Riverbed
HiSoft Technology's $750millionmerger of equals with VanceInfo Technologies to form Pactera Technology International
Independent Non-Executive Directors of ENRC in the company's $550 million acquisition of the remaining 49.5% of Camrose Resources not already owned by ENRC
BHP Billiton's $430 million sale of its Yeelirrie uranium deposit to Cameco
Trimble Navigation's $335 million acquisition of TMW Systems
Piraeus Bank in its acquisition of Société Générale's 99.1% stake in Geniki Bank
Oriental Trading Company's sale to Berkshire Hathaway
Magnablend's sale to Univar
ArrMaz Custom Chemicals on its sale to Golden Gate Capital
L'Oréal's acquisition of Urban Decay
Synchronous Aerospace Group's sale to Precision Castparts
The Rock Creek Group on the sale of a minority interest to Wells Fargo Asset Management
HOCHTIEF's sale of a 45% interest in the Vespucio Norte Express tollhighway to a consortium led by Brookfield
Mergers and Acquisitions (Announced)
Among the ongoing, large, publicly announced M&A transactions and assignments on which Lazard advised in the 2012 fourth quarter, or continued to advise, or completed since December 31, 2012, are the following:
Deutsche Telekom on the $32.8 billion combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS
Microsoft in its role in Dell's $24.4 billion going-private transaction
Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20.1 billion acquisition of the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo it does not already own and Grupo Modelo's related $1.9 billion sale of its 50% interest in Crown Imports to Constellation Brands
IntercontinentalExchange's $8.2 billion acquisition of NYSE Euronext
Caisse des Dépôts' €2.6 billion indirect acquisition of Silic from Groupama
Cerberus in Albertsons' $3.6 billion acquisition of five grocery banners from SUPERVALU and tender offer for up to 30% of SUPERVALU's outstanding public shares
Total's €2.4 billion proposed sale of TIGF to a consortium
Ameristar Casinos' $2.8 billionsale to Pinnacle Entertainment
Permian Mud Service (parent company of Champion Technologies and CorsiTech) in its $2.2 billion merger with Ecolab
PPGIndustries on the $2.1 billion merger of its commodity chemicals business with Georgia Gulf
Athene Holding in its $1.6 billion acquisition of Aviva's U.S. annuity and life insurance operations
The Special Committee of CNH Global on Fiat Industrial's $1.7 billion acquisition of the remaining shares in CNH Global that it does not already own
CH Energy Group's $1.5 billion sale to Fortis
Principal Financial Group's $1.5 billion acquisition of Cuprum
LNR Property's $1.05 billion sale to Starwood Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group
EQT in the exchange of its natural gas distribution business with SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners for $720 million and the receipt of assets and other consideration
The Special Committee of CreXus Investment Corp. in the company's sale to Annaly Capital Management for an implied valuation of $1.0 billion
Petra Foods' $950 million sale of its cocoa ingredients business to Barry Callebaut
Sportingbet in its £485 million proposed sale to William Hill and GVC Holdings
Unilever in the $700 million sale of its Skippy peanut butter business to Hormel
Eastman Kodak's $525 million sale of its digital imaging patents to a consortium
Qatar Holding on its approximately 12% stake in Xstrata in connection with the proposed merger with Glencore International
Caisse des Dépôts on the reorganization of Dexia
EADS on the reorganization of its governance and shareholding structure
Jereissati Group and Renosa in the merger of Norsa, Renosa and Guararapes
Scailex on the sale of an interest in Partner Communications to Saban Capital Group
Hera's merger with AcegasAps
Restructuring and Debt Advisory Assignments
Restructuring and debtor or creditor advisory assignments completed during the fourth quarter of 2012 on which Lazard advised include: Tribune Company, NewPage Corporation and LSP Energy in connection with their Chapter 11 filings; Crest Nicholson on its refinancing; EurotaxGlass's on its debt restructuring; GoldenTree and other investors on the capital injection and ownership structure simplification of BAWAG P.S.K.; Imagina Media Audiovisual on its debt refinancing; Praktiker on the funding of its strategic and operational restructuring program; and the senior lenders to TORM on the company's debt restructuring.
Notable Chapter 11 bankruptcies on which Lazard advised debtors or creditors, or related parties, during or since the fourth quarter of 2012, are:
Airlines: Allied Pilots Association with respect to American Airlines
Consumer/Food: Hostess Brands
Gaming, Entertainment and Hospitality: Indianapolis Downs, MSR Resorts
Power & Energy: A123 Systems
Professional/Financial Services: Ambac
Technology/Media/Telecom: Eastman Kodak, LightSquared
Among other publicly announced restructuring and debt advisory assignments on which Lazard has advised debtors or creditors during or since the fourth quarter of 2012, are:
Belvédère - advising the FRN noteholder committee
Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC) - advisor to Weil, Gotshal & Manges in its capacity as counsel to the New York Liquidation Bureau
Mediannuaire Holding - advising the working group of first and second lien lenders in connection with the company's debt restructuring
Munshaat - on its debt restructuring
National Association of Letter Carriers - in connection with the USPS's restructuring efforts
PMI - advisor to the receiver of PMI on certain asset dispositions
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 the U.S. GAAP results, is the most meaningful and useful way to compare our operating results across periods.
2 2012 results exclude pre-tax charges of $25 million in the first quarter related to staff reductions and $103 million in the fourth quarter related to the implementation of cost saving initiatives. These include non-compensation charges of $3 million in the first quarter and $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Comparisons to full-year 2011 also exclude an $18 million pre-tax gain on the repurchase of our subordinated debt in 2011, and pre-tax charges aggregating $11 million related to the write-off of an option prepayment and a provision for a lease contract for our UK offices.
3 In 2012 we: (i) paid $140 million to our shareholders in dividends, which included both a special dividend and an accelerated dividend; (ii) repurchased 12.8 million shares of our Class A common stock for $355 million, at an average price of $27.66 per share; and (iii) satisfied employee tax obligations of $45 million in cash in lieu of share issuance upon vesting of equity grants. Approximately 4.5 million shares of our share repurchases, at a cost of $120 million, served to directly offset the expected potential dilution upon vesting from our 2011 year-end equity-based compensation awards.
4 Surplus cash is defined as that which is not needed for regulatory, tax or other business purposes, or which is reserved for accrued compensation.
5 Operating margin based on awarded compensation is defined as operating revenue ($1,971 million in 2012), minus awarded compensation expense ($1,171 million in 2012), minus adjusted non-compensation expense ($421 million in 2012), divided by operating revenue.
SELECTED SUMMARY FINANCIAL INFORMATION (a)
(Non-GAAP - unaudited)
Three Months Ended
% Change From
($ in thousands, except per share data)
M&A and Other Advisory
Operating revenue (b)
Compensation and benefits expense (c)
Ratio of compensation to operating revenue
Non-compensation expense (d)
Ratio of non-compensation to operating revenue
Earnings from operations (