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Lazard Limited (LAZ) Passes Through 2% Yield Mark

By Dividend Channel Staff, Thursday, August 4, 3:17 PM ET
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In trading on Thursday, shares of Lazard Limited (NYSE:LAZ) were yielding above the 2% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.64), with the stock changing hands as low as $31.09 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2011 and each share was worth $80.78 on that date, a mere $2.51 or 3.2% increase over eleven years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $9.69 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 20.27%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 2% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. Lazard Limited (NYSE:LAZ) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.

In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of Lazard Limited, looking at the history chart for LAZ below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 2% annual yield.

LAZ Dividend History
Date Div*
05/04/11 0.160
02/03/11 0.125
11/01/10 0.125
08/04/10 0.125
05/05/10 0.125
02/04/10 0.125
11/04/09 0.125
08/05/09 0.125
05/06/09 0.100
02/04/09 0.100
11/05/08 0.100
08/05/08 0.100
05/12/08 0.100
02/06/08 0.100
11/07/07 0.090
08/08/07 0.090
05/16/07 0.090
02/14/07 0.090
11/08/06 0.090
08/09/06 0.090
05/17/06 0.090
02/15/06 0.090
11/16/05 0.090
08/17/05 0.052
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, LAZ makes up 4.32% of the SPDR KBW Capital Markets ETF (AMEX:KCE) which is trading lower by about 3.7% on the day Thursday.

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