Credit Rating Press Releases:
Bond ratings press releases for U.S. municipal bonds and energy sector corporate bonds.
S&P: BULLETIN: Morgan Stanley Rating Unaffected By First-Quarter Earnings
NEW YORK April 21, 2011--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that Morgan Stanley's (A/Negative/A-1, holding company) relatively fair first-quarter earnings do not immediately affect the rating.
Adjusted pretax income was $1.1 billion in the first quarter compared with $1.7 billion in fourth-quarter 2010 and $2.5 billion one year earlier. Return on equity was low for the quarter at 6.2% compared with 17.0% last year. A $655 million pretax loss in the Japanese joint venture hurt results. Although this loss is disappointing, we do not believe it diminishes the long-term strategic importance of MS's relationship with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MFUG) and we are encouraged by MFUG's response to theses losses, including the equity conversion.
Institutional Securities' results were helped by strong sequential performance in Fixed Income and Commodities with revenues up 141% for the quarter, but still down 28% annually. Equity results were also good and broadly in line with competitors'. Investment-banking results were lower sequentially but improved annually, again, we believe, in line with competitors'. Trading value at risk declined $121 million from $143 million last year.
Global Wealth Management demonstrated some annual improvements with pretax margins slightly better at 10.1% compared with 9.0% for the same period last year. We still view these margins as far below potential, and expect further improvements.
Asset Management's revenues were down slightly from the same time last year, but assets under management were up 12%.
Capital was the credit highlight in the quarter with the estimated Tier 1 common ratio up 130 basis points to 11.8% from 8.3% last year. Sequential improvements were due primarily to a reduction in risk-weighted assets. Pro forma for the planned conversion of MUFG's preferred stake to common shares, MS's, Tier 1 common ratio would be 14.5%, which is well above peers'.
The outlook remains negative as we evaluate our support framework. We continue to evaluate the two-notch uplift we give in the ratings against our expectations of government support.
Jeff Sexton, New York, (1) 212-438-3448
Kenneth Frey, Jr., New York (1) 212-438-4415
Matthew Albrecht, CFA, New York 212-438-1867