Seeking Alpha

Morgan Stanley (MS)

  • Thu, Jan. 8, 12:24 PM
    • Despite new regulations limiting its participation in such funds, Morgan Stanley (MS +1.3%) has raised about $1B for Morgan Stanley Credit Partners II, a private-equity type credit fund.
    • The first fund closed in 2011 and was about the same size. The bank began raising money for this new fund 15 months ago.
    • The strategy of both funds is the same: Making loans and buying the existing debt of companies in North America and Western Europe with EBITDA of more than $15M.
    • Morgan is pushing ahead with private equity even as competitors have pulled back or exited completely thanks to the Volcker Rule. The bank is also raising a $4B global infrastructure fund, a $2.5B global real estate fund, and another global P-E fund of unknown size.
    | Comment!
  • Mon, Jan. 5, 4:41 PM
    • A deal for the sale of Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership  - a cargo container facility at the Port of Montreal - to a consortium led by Fiera Axium Infrastructure for more than $600M should be announced later this month, reports the WSJ.
    • The Journal several months ago reported MGT had been put on the block.
    • This facility has been profitable since Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) first acquired a stake in 2007, but others haven't fared as well, making financing for acquisitions tough to come by, and the buyer group is reportedly paying just 16-17x EBITDA vs. a 27x multiple for last year's sale of Australia's Newcastle Port.
    | Comment!
  • Mon, Jan. 5, 11:13 AM
    • A now former Morgan Stanley (MS -3.2%) employee stole partial client data on up to 10% of all Wealth Management clients, and certain account information of roughly 900 clients - including account names and numbers - was briefly posted on the Internet. The stolen data does not include passwords or social security numbers.
    • The exposure was quickly detected by Morgan, and removed.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 30, 2014, 11:11 AM
    • Having scored tens of billions from other banks over bubble-era mortgages, the DOJ now has Morgan Stanley (MS -0.4%) in its sights, and unearthed documents/emails from an unrelated case perhaps show an even closer relationship between the bank and subprime king New Century than previously imagined.
    • “Morgan Stanley is involved in almost every strategic decision that New Century makes in securitized products,” according to one internal Morgan Stanley report from 2004 that the bank surely doesn't want to see put in front of a jury.
    • For its part, Morgan Stanley says it was competing for New Century loans with other banks and did not have any special leverage over the lender, and other documents indicate Morgan was stricter than some competitors in deciding which loans to accept.
    • Source: NYT
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 22, 2014, 9:15 AM
    • Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) says Morgan Stanley's (NYSE:MS) sale of its global oil merchanting business to Rosneft has been terminated due to likely regulatory refusal.
    • Rosneft says the companies will continue to work together in other areas, while MS says it will seek other buyers for the unit.
    • The oil merchanting unit includes MS's physical oil inventory and related purchase, sale and supply agreements, as well as oil terminal storage agreements and a 49% stake in a company which manages ~100 oil and chemical tankers.
  • Dec. 17, 2014, 2:24 PM
    • Unlike previous stock sales by the U.K. government, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is charging a fee of just £1 to handle the affair.
    • The bank has a six-month window to sell no more than 15% of the average volume of Lloyds, meaning somewhere in the area of about £3B of stock being sold by the end of June.
    • Charity? Not exactly. There's something called order flow, and Morgan Stanley will be allowed to charge commissions to investors when the shares are sold. Morgan was chosen for the work because of the job it did leading the sale of 7.7B Citigroup shares by the U.S. in 2010.
    • Previously: U.K. readies next sales of Lloyds stake (Dec. 17, 2014)
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 17, 2014, 7:36 AM
    • Jefferies yesterday posted a 73% plunge in fixed-income trading revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 30, and a 45% fall in equity-trading revenue. “You’re going to see weaker trading results because of what I’d call bad volatility,” says Charles Peabody, as firms cut back on stock and bond offerings.
    • That Q4 trading revenue is going to be a weak one for the likes of JPM, C, BAC, GS, and MS shouldn't be a major surprise as Ciit's Mike Corbat, BofA's Brian Moynihan, and JPM's Marianne Lake said as much when presenting at a financial services conference earlier this month. But the weakness they described is nowhere near what was reported at Jefferies.
    • Alongside the weak trading results, Jefferies is also looking to get rid of Bache - its commodities-trading business. "The fact that they are throwing in the towel on this business just a few years in would suggest that maybe that opportunity is not nearly as robust as they thought it would be,” says UBS's Brennan Hawken.
    • Previously: Jefferies posts loss, mulling sale of Bache unit (Dec. 16, 2014)
  • Dec. 9, 2014, 11:38 AM
    • Even as energy markets are buffeted by unusual volatility, some of Wall Street's biggest banks are ready to write billion-dollar checks to finance Cheniere Energy's (LNG +0.4%) $15.5B Corpus Christi natural gas project on the Gulf coast, CNBC reports.
    • The commitments could put banks including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on the hook if the market for liquefied natural gas goes south, according to the report.
    • The gas terminal, now under development and expected to produce as much as 13.5M tons of liquefied natural gas starting in 2018, is now seeking $11.5B in a seven-year bank credit facility that would depend in part on the issuance of new bonds next year and the year after to repay its debt; private lenders reportedly have provided LNG with an initial $2.5B in funding to construct the terminal.
  • Dec. 9, 2014, 8:52 AM
  • Dec. 2, 2014, 3:42 PM
    • "Our concern is that the market has become complacent on the setting of the SIFI surcharge for the mega banks, which means there may be surprise at just how onerous the surcharge could be for JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)," writes Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg.
    • The Fed is expected to announce the capital surcharge on December 9.
    • Previously: U.S. banks to be hit with tougher capital rule
  • Dec. 1, 2014, 11:40 AM
    • A positive macro outlook for the U.S. (especially compared to the rest of the globe) should boost credit demand, says UBS - upgrading U.S. financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) to Overweight - while the start of a new rate-hike cycle next year bodes well for interest margins.
    • UBS's three favored U.S. banks are Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), but TD Bank (NYSE:TD) also makes the buy list thanks to its large American presence.
  • Nov. 5, 2014, 3:06 AM
    • Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) will receive a one-time lift of $1.3B due to a change in the structure of its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney operation.
    • On Oct. 31, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was converted from a partnership to a corporation. That change allowed the bank to release $1.3B it had previously set aside for taxes.
    • The restructuring is not expected to change Morgan Stanley’s tax rate going forward, but it will help the bank’s profitability in Q4.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 23, 2014, 4:49 PM
    • Not having had the pleasure of being subject to the stress test and CCAR previously, Deutsche Bank's (NYSE:DB) U.S. unit will be a participant next year
    • As in prior years, those BHCs with large trading operations - BAC, C, GS, JPM, MS, WFC - will be required to factor in a global market shock as part of their scenarios.
    • Those six, plus STT and BK - thanks to their custodial operations - will be required to incorporate a counterparty default scenario.
    • Among the items in the severely adverse scenario is the unemployment rate jumping to 10%, a 60% dive in the stock market, and oil jumping to $110 per barrel (how about oil falling to $10 per barrel?).
  • Oct. 21, 2014, 11:44 AM
    • Flying in the face of a regulatory environment hostile to such moves, Morgan Stanley (MS +1.8%) began a business - once codenamed "Project Venezuela" and now known as Wentworth Gas Marketing - to export compressed natural gas to Caribbean and Latin American countries.
    • Now, says the FT, Morgan is mulling a sale of the operation and Simon Greenshields - the bank's co-head of commodities - has been in contact with possible buyers.
    • In addition to the now-normal regulatory and political hostility to banks doing anything other than banking, there's worry about the risk of shipping compressed natural gas., something the Fed has made clear to Morgan.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 17, 2014, 3:03 PM
    • "We view this as a great quarter, which demonstrates good progress on both production and efficiency. We continue to like Morgan Stanley (MS +1.8%) and its peers, and believe the recent pullback represents an attractive buying opportunity. We expect a good Q4 follow-through, and believe CCAR capital returns will be increased in the next couple of cycles as excess capital builds," says MKM's David Trone.
    • "The beat was entirely driven by the top-line which came in $0.15 higher due to better than expected investment banking, FICC, and equities," says Citi's Keith Horowitz and Chris Larmoyeux. The beat despite the high bar for capital markets names, he says, bodes well for the stock, particularly given the recent sizable selloff.
    • Previously: Morgan Stanley higher after earnings beat
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 17, 2014, 7:30 AM
    • Q3 income from continuing operations (excluding DVA) of $1.6B of $0.77 per share vs. $1B and $0.50 one year ago. This year's Q boosted by net discrete tax benefit of $237M or $0.12 per share.
    • Institutional Securities pre-tax income from continuing operations of $1.2B vs. $396M a year ago. Advisory revenue of $392M vs. $275M thanks to boosted M&A activity. Equity underwriting revenue of $464M vs. $236M thanks to boosted IPO activity. FICC net revenue of $997M vs. $835M (about inline with what a few other banks posted). Compensation expense of $1.8B vs. $1.6B.
    • Wealth Management pre-tax income of $836M vs. $668M a year ago, on net revenue of $3.8B vs. $3.5B. Asset management fees of $2.2B vs. $1.9B. Net interest income of $601M vs. $493M thanks to higher deposits and loan balances. Compensation expense of $2.2B vs. $2B. Wealth managers of 16,162 fell from 16,517, with average annualized revenue per advisor of $932K up 10%.
    • Investment Management pre-tax income of $188M vs. $300M a year ago.
    • Tangible book value per share of $29.25. Roughly $195M of stock repurchased during Q, or 5.9M shares.
    • MS +2.8% premarket
    • Previously: Morgan Stanley beats by $0.23, beats on revenue
    | Comment!
Visit Seeking Alpha's
MS vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
Morgan Stanley through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides financial products and services to a diversified group of clients and customers, including corporations, governments, financial institutions and individuals.