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Morgan Stanley Shareholders Shrug Off Whitney Downgrade

Reports that bank analyst Meredith Whitney dropped her Q1 earnings for Morgan Stanley to $0.35 from $0.59 (analyst consensus at $0.61) is having little effect on the stock, and for good reason: estimates have been quietly coming down, and the range of opinions is unusually high.

I'm being kind: you could drive a truck through the estimates. There are perhaps 20 analysts who cover the stock; the low estimate for the quarter is $0.20, the high estimate is $0.92. That's a 350 percent range!

But several analysts have been lowering numbers — Atlantic Equities reduced their estimates to $0.41 from $0.74 on lower fixed income trade and investment banking fees, and Guy Moszkowski at B of A/Merrill Lynch went to $0.43 from $0.82 on March 4, also on weaker trading and investment banking revenues.

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