Morgan Stanley Hits New 52-Week High on Strong Q2 Earnings - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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Shares of Morgan Stanley ( MS ) reached a new 52-week high, touching $34.57 on Aug 25. However, the stock closed the session at $34.20, reflecting a solid return of 30.9% in a year's time. The trading volume for the session was 13,893,352 shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left, given the positive estimate revisions it witnessed over the past 30 days. Further, the long-term expected earnings per share growth rate for this investment brokerage firm now stands at 21.9%.

Growth Drivers

Strong second-quarter results, including an increased focus on organic as well as inorganic growth initiatives, primarily drove the stock price.

On Jul 17, Morgan Stanley came out with second-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of 60 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.1%. The reported figure was also above 45 cents earned in the prior-year quarter.

Results were aided by an increase in net interest income and stable fee income as well as marginally lower operating expenses, partially offset by lower fixed-income, currency and commodities trading income. Further, the quarter witnessed increased asset position and improved net revenues across all segments.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 has advanced 1.7% to $2.45 per share. For 2015, the estimate inched up around 0.3% to $32.93 per share over the same time frame.

Some better-ranked stocks in this space include Arlington Asset Investment Corp. ( AI ), Moelis & Co. ( MC ) and Piper Jaffray Companies ( PJC ). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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MORGAN STANLEY (MS): Free Stock Analysis Report

MOELIS & CO (MC): Free Stock Analysis Report

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ARLINGTON ASSET (AI): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Earnings , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: MS , MC , PJC , AI

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