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Wall Street Powerhouse Morgan Stanley Doubles the Dividend

Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street powerhouse, doubled its quarterly dividend and announced a new $12 billion stock repurchase plan. The bank on Monday in a press release said that its dividend will jump to 70 cents a share starting in the third quarter, and it would buy up to $12 billion of its stock through June 2022.

The Shares of Morgan Stanley popped almost 4% in after-hours tradingCEO James Gorman said in the release that Stanley has accumulated substantial excess capital over the past several years and now has one of the largest capital buffers in the industry. The action taken by the Board reflects a decision to reset our capital base consistent with the needs we have for our transformed business model.

The new capital plan by Morgan Stanley seemed to be among the aggressive of the banks rushing to announce at the market close. Larger rival JPMorgan Chase boosted its dividend by 11% to $1 per share, according to the bank. JPMorgan said it continues to be authorized to tap an existing share repurchase plan.Bank of America said its dividend would rise 17% to 21 cents. In April, the bank announced a $25 billion share repurchase plan. Goldman Sachs said it planned on boosting its dividend by 60% to $2 per share, subject to approval from the bank’s board.

Wells Fargo said it plans on doubling its dividend to 20 cents a share, subject to board approval. It also announced an $18 billion stock repurchase plan beginning in the third quarter. The firm’s dividend increase was widely expected by analysts because it was one of the only banks forced to slash its payout after last year’s stress test.

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