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Why Is Moelis (MC) Up 8.9% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Moelis (MC). Shares have added about 8.9% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Moelis due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Moelis & Company Incurs Loss in Q2, Expenses Rise

Moelis & Company recorded second-quarter 2020 adjusted loss per share of 11 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 14 cents. It reported earnings per share of 56 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Results were primarily hurt by a rise in expenses. However, an increase in revenues and a solid liquidity position were tailwinds.

Net loss (GAAP basis) was $9 million or 10 cents per share against net income of $37.7 million or 54 cents recorded in the prior-year quarter.

Revenues Improve, Expenses Rise

Total revenues increased 4.2% year over year to $159.9 million. The rise reflected an increase in the average fees earned per completed M&A transaction as well as a rise in capital markets activity. The top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $138 million.

Total operating expenses (adjusted basis) were $177.1 million, up 53.1% year over year. Increase in compensation and benefits costs led to the rise.

Other expenses (GAAP basis) were $3.3 million against other income of $5 million recorded in the year-ago quarter.

As of Jun 30, 2020, the company had cash and liquid investments of $193.7 million, with no debt or goodwill.

Share Repurchases

During the quarter, Moelis & Company repurchased shares worth $0.8 million.

Outlook

Management expects non-compensation expenses to be at or below $30 million per quarter as long as the general travel limitations remain in place.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 33.33% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Moelis has a great Growth Score of A, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions has been net zero. Notably, Moelis has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.


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