Wall Street Seeing Goldman in Rare Reversal With Morgan Stanley

Christine Harper
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., whose record earnings in the first nine months of last year fueled public outrage, will probably hit a profit plateau in 2010, just as Morgan Stanley rebounds from its worst year ever.

The diverging outlooks for earnings growth have started showing in the stock prices, with Morgan Stanley gaining 2.6 percent this year and Goldman Sachs dropping 2.2 percent. Analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG, UBS AG and Macquarie Group Ltd. began recommending investors buy Morgan Stanley this month.

“It makes sense that Morgan’s rebounding, they’re coming from a lower level,” said Ralph Cole, a senior vice president in research at Ferguson Wellman Inc. in Portland, Oregon, which manages about $2.5 billion and owns both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley stock. Goldman Sachs “is trying to continue to move forward off a very large base, and that makes it very difficult for them.”

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the two biggest U.S. securities firms before becoming bank holding companies in 2008, continue their traditional rivalry, especially in merger advice and derivatives. When the two New York-based companies report fourth-quarter earnings later this week, Goldman Sachs is still expected by analysts to outshine Morgan Stanley.

View the original article at Bloomberg


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