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J.P. Morgan Cuts Morgan Stanley to 'Underweight'

J.P. Morgan downgraded Morgan Stanley (MWD) to underweight.

Analyst Michael Freudenstein says the 55 cents second-quarter earnings per share missed his and the consensus 68 cents estimate, due primarily to a 16-cent impact from the $287 million pretax impairment charge at its Ansett Worldwide aircraft leasing unit. He's worried that expectations for the smooth passing of the baton from first-half trading success to a second-half recovery in M&A and equities was a bit hopeful. He also notes higher credit losses at the Discover credit-card unit.

Freudenstein believes a second-half investment banking recovery may be more muted than previously thought. He cut the 61 cents third-quarter earnings per share estimate to 60 cents, and cut the $3.20 fiscal 2003 (Nov.) estimate to $2.95.

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