Morgan Stanley hits Charles Schwab (SCHW:NYE) with a Downgrade

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Analyst Coverage Change

On March 30th, 2023, Morgan Stanley(Rank#1) downgraded Charles Schwab’s stock to “Equal-Weight” from “Overweight” and cut the 12-month target to $68 from $99. This move by the financial services company sent shockwaves through the stock market, as Charles Schwab is one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, with a market cap of over $100 billion.

Morgan Stanley’s downgrade came after Charles Schwab reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of 2023. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.60, which missed analysts’ expectations of $0.64. The company’s revenue of $2.72 billion also fell short of analysts’ estimates of $2.78 billion.

The downgrade by Morgan Stanley is significant, as the firm has been bullish on Charles Schwab’s stock for some time. In fact, just a few months ago, Morgan Stanley had a price target of $99 for the stock, which was nearly 50% higher than the new target of $68.

The downgrade by Morgan Stanley is a reflection of the challenges that Charles Schwab is facing in the current market environment. One of the biggest challenges facing the company is the ongoing shift towards passive investing, which has been eating away at the profits of traditional brokerage firms like Charles Schwab.

Another factor that is weighing on Charles Schwab’s stock is the recent rise in interest rates. As interest rates have gone up, the company’s net interest margin (NIM) has been squeezed, which has put pressure on its earnings.

Despite these challenges, Charles Schwab has been trying to adapt to the changing market environment. The company has been aggressively cutting costs and investing in new technologies to improve its offerings to clients. Charles Schwab has also been expanding its product offerings, including launching new ETFs and adding more options for clients to invest in.

While Morgan Stanley’s downgrade is certainly a blow to Charles Schwab, it’s important to keep things in perspective. The company is still one of the largest and most successful brokerage firms in the world, with a strong track record of success. Investors should be cautious, but also keep an eye on the company’s efforts to adapt to the changing market environment.

Morgan Stanley’s downgrade of Charles Schwab’s stock to “Equal-Weight” from “Overweight” and cutting the 12-month target to $68 from $99 is a significant move that reflects the challenges facing the company in the current market environment. Charles Schwab is facing headwinds from the ongoing shift towards passive investing and the recent rise in interest rates. However, the company has been taking steps to adapt to these challenges and investors should keep a close eye on its progress.

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