(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)