Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) reached a new 52-week high, touching $27.00 in the last hour of the trading session on Jun 7, 2013. The closing price of this major global bank reflected a robust year-to-date return of 38.2%. The trading volume for the session was 32.75 million shares, significantly higher than the average 19.33 million shares over the last 3 months.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left, given its estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 33.9% for 2013.
Impressive first-quarter 2013 results, the underlying strength in its business segments as well as a strong capital position were the primary growth drivers for Morgan Stanley.
In early May 2013, at the time of filing its latest quarterly documents with the SEC, Morgan Stanley lowered its first-quarter adjusted earnings from continuous operations by a penny to 60 cents per share. Nevertheless, this was above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 57 cents.
Additional legal expenses led Morgan Stanley to restate its earnings. However, favorable results were driven by lower operating expenses, partially offset by a fall in the top line. Moreover, increase in net revenue across all segments was the tailwind.
Estimate Revisions Show Potency
Over the last 60 days, 3 out of 15 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.0% to $2.13 per share. For 2014, 2 out of 15 estimates moved higher over the same time frame, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 1.2% to $2.59 per share.
Better performing banks include Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and State Street Corporation (STT) all of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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