4 Financial Stock Stories For Savvy Midweek Investment

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): Current price $22.19

A lending slump is sending warnings in regards to bank earnings as the big names in the business get ready to post their quarterly profits and outloooks. Although big-bank stocks have gained around 9 percent in 2013, and led during the first-quarter market rally, they’ve trailed over the 30 days, with the KBW Bank Index losing almost 3 percent. A note on Tuesday from Goldman Sachs helped to explain some of the group’s problems and gives a warning signal: Banks that gain in excess of 10 percent in the first quarter historically have given nearly all those profits back when future earnings estimates begin falling as well. Goldman downgraded earnings forecasts for some of the industry’s largest names, cutting Morgan Stanley by 17 percent, Bank of America by 15 percent and dropping Citigroup, which it actually says that it still likes, by 13 percent.

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MS

Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS): Current price $149.30

A review by Reuters indicates that the firm has likely generated about $1.2 billion of revenue over six years from its undertakings with discount retailer Dollar General Corp., but the big bank is not talking much about the matter. A majority of the revenue originates from an equity investment that is bundled into the catchall earnings segment “Investing and Lending,” which Goldman created in 2011 to show how much money it makes from investing its own funds, but it still dismays analysts and investors, since the bank does not give details regarding the performance of individual assets.

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GS

Icahn Enterprises (NYSE:IEP): Current price $65.83

Coverage of Icahn shares was begun Wednesday at Jefferies with a Buy and $66 price target, with the research firm calling Icahn “Old School Activism at Its Best.” Analyst Daniel T. Fannon commented that ”In addition to a diversified set of investments, as a holding company, IEP offers investors an opportunity to access the investment ideas of Carl Icahn. “We believe the current backdrop for activist type investing could lead to strong returns at IEP.”

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IEP

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB): Current price $29.02

Share coverage was begun at Wedbush with an Outperform, along with a price target of $33. Analyst Gil Luria said, “We believe H&R Block will maintain solid shareholder returns based on a strong position in the assisted and online tax preparation markets. Incremental potential comes from higher revenue per filing based on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and realization of the potential of the reloadable prepaid business.”

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HRB

Investing Insights: Is Bank of America Still Attractive?

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