E Unusually Heavy Friday

Lazard (LAZ) reported on its Q1 from Bermuda where its ADR is registered. It is French by origin yet manages money globally. Lazard stock crashed 8.15% in European trading despite what probably is an earnings beat, undermined by CEO Ken Jacobs telling the world he wants to hire more analysts with a background in hedge funds and long only.

This is not the sort of thing that should be discussed in a quarterly report. Further messing with minds was the data report, which stated operating revenues had gone up to $648 million thanks to record deal-making, yet corporate business was below expectations. It was up 115%. And assets under management hit a new record of $265 billion, but, of course, this was for the Bermuda entity, not the French one.

This produced adjusted net earnings of $101 million or 87¢/ diluted share, but in US GAAP produced net earnings of $87 million or 75¢/ diluted share. Even apart from Mr Jacobs' plan to go a-hiring, there seems to be too much spending on compensation and benefits at Lazard. The stock recuperated some from its drop in European trading, opening in the US at a loss of only 6.725%. Now it is down only 5.96%.

Novocure (NVCR) of St Helier, Jersey in the Channel Islands also reported. Note that places like Bermuda and Jersey will probably escape the basic minimum tax the OECD countries are plotting. Novocure is escaping much higher taxes than most. It now has two products using its tumor-treating (electric) fields on the market, with one in phase III for non-small cell lung cancer and one in phase 2 fully enrolled for liver cancer.

Its Q1 net revenues were only $135 million versus $248 million a year earlier, while spending for R&D was down only 5 million to $46 million. Revenues were up 32% sequentially, however. This produced a net loss for Q1 of $4 million versus a gain of $20 million in the prior 2020 quarter. Adjusted EBITDA hit $21 million down from a total of $190 million last year.

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