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Feb 1 (Reuters) - Financial adviser Lazard Ltd reported an adjusted quarterly profit that beat estimates, as strength in its asset management business helped counter a decline in advisory fees.
The company, often seen as a bellwether for the M&A advisory industry, said revenue from strategic advisory that includes fees from consulting on deals, fell 18 percent.
Lazard advised on a number of high-profile deals during the quarter including Aetna Inc's $77 billion sale to CVS Health, but paled in comparison to last year which included the $130 billion merger of Dow Chemicals and DuPont.
The latest quarter included a one-time charge of about $420 million due to changes to the tax laws, due to which the company posted a loss.
Adjusted for the charge as well as a one-time gain of $203 million, Lazard earned $1.12 per share, beating the average estimate of 90 cents.
Net loss attributable to the company was $83.6 million, or 70 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $128 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier. http://reut.rs/2nxaFnK.
Revenue from the asset management business rose 23.1 percent to $339 million and accounted for nearly half of total revenue.
Total revenue fell to $692.3 million from $705.8 million. (Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)