Yesterday, 11:17 AM
- Last week, Morgan Stanely (MS +1.1%) cut a deal for $2.6B to settle a federal probe into pre-crisis mortgage activities, but the bank - in its 10-K - disclosed the New York Attorney General has informed it of a potential lawsuit relating to roughly 30 subprime MBS deals.
- Morgan has set aside $2.8B for legal costs from still-unresolved cases, Other potential suits could come from California, Virginia, and Illinois.
- Previously: Morgan Stanley removes overhang with mortgage settlement (Feb. 26)
Thu, Feb. 26, 1:33 PM
- "Most of the major legacy legal issues are now in the rearview mirror for Morgan Stanley (MS -1.2%)," says UBS analyst Brennan Hawken, following the bank's $2.6B mortgage settlement with the DOJ last night.
- He notes the bank isn't a rate-setter for Libor and its forex business is minor, so fines related to those probes should be small relative to what some peers are facing.
- The only major U.S. firm left to settle over mortgages is Goldman Sachs (GS -0.1%), and while the timing is unknown, it's probable Goldman's fine will be similar in magnitude to Morgan Stanley rather than the far larger penalties dealt to the money center banks.
- Previously: Morgan Stanley to settle DoJ civil probe for $2.6B (Feb. 25)
Wed, Feb. 25, 5:55 PM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) discloses it reached a $2.6B settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California stemming from the sale of mortgage bonds.
- MS says it raised its legal reserves by ~$2.8B and accounted for the costs in the 2014 results of its securities business, which in turn cut its 2014 income from continuing operations by $2.7B, or $1.35/share.
Tue, Feb. 24, 3:43 PM
- Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) infrastructure arm has begun seeking bids for natural gas pipeline operator Southern Star Central, Bloomberg reports.
- MS reportedly has sent offering documents to potential bidders including Tallgrass Energy Partners (NYSE:TEP) and TransCanada (NYSE:TRP), and is said to be soliciting bids from operators of gas pipelines including Williams Cos. (WMB, WPZ), Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE:BWP), as well as other infrastructure investors such as Macquarie (NYSE:MIC).
- Southern Star operates 6K miles of natural gas pipelines in the midwestern U.S., and is valued at as much as $1.5B.
Fri, Feb. 20, 4:48 AM
- Squeezed by new capital and risk rules and tough markets, Wall Street is taking the ax to its workforce, a report by London research firm Coalition shows.
- The number of investment bankers, traders, salespeople and research analysts at the world’s largest banks has fallen 20% globally since its recent peak in 2010.
- While job cuts on the front end have become standard, firms have been increasing their back-office hiring to beef up controls in areas ranging from compliance to risk.
- Related tickers: BAC, BCS, OTCQX:BNPQY, C, CS, DB, GS, JPM, MS, UBS
Wed, Feb. 18, 7:44 AM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Real Estate Investing has appointed advisors to assist in the exit its holding in Investa Property Group, Australia's third-largest owner of downtown offices.
- Funds managed by the unit purchased the company in 2007 in a deal valued at A$6.6B - at the time, the deal was the largest overseas acquisition of Australian real estate. The properties today are valued at A$8.9B.
Tue, Feb. 10, 11:51 AM
- Among the upside catalysts for Citigroup (C +0.4%) - says Deutshce in its upgrade of the stock to Buy from Hold - will be the approval of $4B in share repurchases in this spring's CCAR.
- Citi's plans to buy back stock and boost the dividend have been rejected by the Fed twice in the last three years, and CEO Michael Corbat has staked his job on approval this year.
- Another catalyst, says Deutsche, will be the sale or IPO of OneMain Financial.
- Turning back to the CCAR, Detusche expects the largest increases in capital returns to be at Citi, Bank of America (BAC +0.6%), Regions Financial (RF +0.3%), Morgan Stanley (MS +1.1%), SunTrust (STI +0.1%), and Citizens Financial (CFG +1.9%). Total payout ratios at the larger regional lenders should be 79% this year, up 1000 basis points from 2014.
- Previously: Bank pair trade from Deutsche (Feb. 10)
- Presenting at the Credit Suisse conference, CEO of U.S. Consumer & Commerical Banking and Citi Mortgage Jane Fraser touts the banks laser focus for retail on this country's largest 7 markets.
- Presentation slides
- Previously: Citi looks to boost mortgage business with Zillow tie-up (Feb. 10)
Mon, Feb. 9, 9:17 AM
- With plenty of regulatory pressure at hand, hedge funds are no longer part of Morgan Stanley's (NYSE:MS) long-term strategy, and up on the block is the bank's 19% stake in the $17.5B London-based Lansdowne Partners, reports the WSJ.
- One source says the stake could be worth as much as several hundred million dollars.
- In other bank news, Morgan's co-head of M&A for EMEA Johannes Groeller is exiting to join Paul Taubman's PJT Partners. Taubman is a former Morgan Stanley president who left the bank in 2012 and has frequently poached former colleagues.
Mon, Feb. 2, 4:07 AM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is shopping its oil-trading and storage business again after an earlier deal with Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), valued at several hundred million dollars, fell through last month.
- Morgan Stanley is still seeking a similar price to that of its first offer, as oil storage prices soar due to the recent collapse of crude prices.
- Macquarie Group (OTC:MCQEF) and KKR (NYSE:KKR) have emerged as early contenders to acquire the unit.
Thu, Jan. 29, 11:47 AM
- "We certainly recognize all the headwinds, notably on the regulatory capital side, but low-hanging fruit on capital efficiency actions should drive some ROE improvement," says the team of David Trone and Pankaj Chitrakar, and they expect better CCAR outcomes for at least a few of the names (including Citi, one would think) in a few weeks.
- As for operating results, whether they come in good or not so good this year hinges on whether the Fed hikes or not. That forecast sounds a lot like 2014, 2013, and 2012, but the two note the likelihood of higher rates appears far higher this year.
- They maintain Buy ratings on Citigroup (C +0.1%), Morgan Stanley (MS +1%), Goldman Sachs (GS +1%), Bank of America (BAC +0.7%), and JPMorgan (JPM +1.1%), with Citi, Goldman, and Morgan Stanley their top picks.
- Previously: Financials go on sale in January (Jan. 24)
Sat, Jan. 24, 4:48 PM
- The financial sector is off to a worse start to the year than even the energy names, with the XLF down 3.9% YTD vs. the XLE's 3.2% decline. The S&P 500 is roughly flat. The SPDR KBW Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KBE) is off 7.5%, and the Regional Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KRE) is lower by 6.9%.
- Q4 earnings results haven't been wonderful, but financial names had been savaged well before those reports started coming out. Instead there's a difficult regulatory regime that won't quit, and - for now - it's looking like "wait'll next year" for the rising interest rates that were supposed to drive profit margins higher. The 10-year/2-year spread - already pretty low at 150 basis points to start the year - has narrowed to 137 bps.
- A partial roll call of banks: Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) -12.1% YTD, Citigroup (NYSE:C) -10.1%, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) -9.4%, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) -9.4%, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) -14.7%, KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) -4.5%, PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) -5.4%, Bank of New York (NYSE:BK) -9.1%, Capital One (NYSE:COF) -6%, Discover (NYSE:DFS) -13.6%.
- Other spread-starved sector names: MetLife (NYSE:MET) -9.8%, AIG (NYSE:AIG) -8%, Prudential (NYSE:PRU) -10.8%, Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) -9.9%.
- Some of what's working in financials: Blackstone (NYSE:BX) +6.7%, E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) +1.2%, WisdomTree (NASDAQ:WETF) +12.3%, Legg Mason +2.8%.
Tue, Jan. 20, 7:34 AM
- Excluding DVA, Q4 income from continuing operations of $903M or $0.40 per share vs. $336M and $0.15 one year ago.
- Institutional Securities net revenue excluding DVA of $3.2B vs. $3.7B one year ago, with pretax loss of $1.08B vs. pretax loss of $880M one year ago. Advisory revenues of $488M vs. $451M, thanks to boosted M&A activity. Equity sales and trading revenue of $1.6B vs. $1.5B. FICC revenue (excl.DVA) of $599M vs. $694M (-13.7%).
- Wealth Management revenue of $3.8B vs. $3.7B one year ago, and pretax income of $736M vs. $715M. Asset management fee revenue of $2.1B vs. $2B. Transactional revenues of $976M vs. $1.1B. Net interest income of $625M vs. $526M. Compensation expense of $2.3B vs. $2.1B. Total client assets more than $2T at year's end, with those in fee-based accounts of $785B up 13%. WM reps of $16,076 slips from $16,456.
- Investment Management revenue of $588M vs. $858M one year ago, with pretax loss of $6M vs. profit of $331M.
- Previously: Morgan Stanley misses by $0.08, misses on revenue (Jan. 20)
- MS -2% premarket
Tue, Jan. 20, 7:03 AM
Mon, Jan. 19, 5:30 PM
Thu, Jan. 15, 4:34 PM
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) promotes 151 employees to managing director, down from 153 in 2014, and against 144 two years ago. Of those promoted, 61% work in the U.S., 13% in Asia, and 26% in EMEA.
- About half of the new MDs work in investment banking, sales, or trading, a lower proportion than in the past as wealth management makes up a greater share of the bank's operations.
- Morgan reports its Q4 results before the bell on Tuesday.
Wed, Jan. 14, 3:22 PM
- One current co-head, Simon Greenshields - after 31 years with Morgan Stanley (MS -2.2%) - is exiting the bank, and the other, Colin Bryce, is looking to move into a senior advisory role, reports the WSJ. They'll be replaced with Nancy King - who most recently was in charge of oil - and natural gas specialist Peter Sherk.
- The changes come amid big change in commodities at Morgan Stanley and the rest of Wall Street, with most of the large investment banks, including Morgan, looking to scale back physical commodities business in favor of financial derivatives tied to the sector.
MS vs. ETF Alternatives
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