April 25, 2019 / 11:22 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Lazard profit beats on strong U.S. dealmaking activity

(Corrects to drop extraneous words in last paragraph)

April 25 (Reuters) - Lazard Ltd reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as its M&A advisory business got a boost from the strongest start to U.S. dealmaking in nearly two decades.

Lazard, often seen as a bellwether for the mergers and acquisitions advisory industry, said revenue in its financial advisory business fell 15 percent to $330 million, but topped Wall Street estimates.

The value of deals announced in the United States in the first three months of the year totaled about $490 billion dollars, up 9.4 percent from a year ago.

Revenue at Lazard's asset management business also beat estimates even though it fell 14 percent to $283.7 million.

The Bermuda-headquartered company said total revenue fell about 14 percent to $661.7 million.

Net income attributable to Lazard fell to $97 million, or 80 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from $159.7 million, or $1.21 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 87 cents per share.

Analysts had expected a profit of 65 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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