Morgan Stanley: Financial Winner
UBS analyst Steven Milunovich on Friday maintained his "Buy" rating on Apple, but lowered his price target for the shares to $700 from $780, while reducing his 2013 earnings estimate for the company to $47.00 from $51.50, and his 2014 EPS estimate to $55.85 from $62.00. The analyst said although UBS was "not altering our Dec quarter numbers materially, we have taken five million iPhones and two million iPads out of the Mar, June, and Sep quarters. Our EPS estimates go down about 10% and are now roughly 5% below consensus."
Milunovich added that "although analyst estimates may need to be trimmed, we don't think the story is over. We expect that China Mobile may start to sell iPhones in the Dec quarter."
The lack of progress on the Fiscal Cliff negotiations in Washington seemed to outweigh two decent economic reports. The Federal Reserve said that U.S. industrial production increased by 1.1% in November, following a downwardly revised decline of 0.7% in October, while industrial capacity utilization increased to 78.4% from a revised 77.7%.
HSBC said that its Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to a 14-month high of 50.9 in December from 50.5 in November. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion. HSBC chief economist for China Hongbin Qu said that the December reading "confirmed that China's ongoing growth recovery is gaining momentum mainly driven by domestic demand conditions. However, the drop of new export orders and the downside surprise of November exports growth suggest the persisting external headwinds. This calls for Beijing to keep an accommodative policy stance to counter-balance the external weakness, provided inflation stays benign."
The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) declined slightly to close at 49.26, with all but five of the 24 index components ending the week declines.
Reuters reported on Friday that Morgan Stanley named Bob Eatroff and Jim Head jointly to lead the company's mergers and acquisitions business in the Americas, while Colm Donlon and Johannes Groeller were named co-heads for M&A in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The company also promoted Susie Huang and Michele Colocci as vice chairmen of investment banking, according to internal memos reviewed by Reuters.
Morgan Stanley's shares have now returned 21% year-to-date, following a 44% decline during 2011.