Artisan Value Fund is Optimistic in Morgan Stanley (MS)

Artisan Partners Limited Partnership, a high value-added investment management firm, published its ‘Artisan Value Fund’ fourth quarter 2020 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. A return of 20% was recorded by its Investor Class: ARTLX, 20.05% by its Advisor Class: APDLX, and 20.07% by its Institutional Class: APHLX, in the fourth quarter of 2020, all outperformed its Russell 1000 Value Benchmark that delivered a 16.25% return and its Russel 1000 Index that was up by 13.69% in the same period. You can view the fund’s top 5 holdings to have a peek at their top bets for 2021.

Artisan Value Fund, in their Q4 2020 investor letter, mentioned Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and emphasized their views on the company. Morgan Stanley is a New York-based investment banking company that currently has a $156.8 million market capitalization. Since the beginning of the year, MS delivered a 21.58% return, impressively extending its 12-month gains to 180.82%. As of March 18, 2021, the stock closed at $83.94 per share.

Here is what Artisan Value Fund has to say about Morgan Stanley in their Q4 2020 investor letter:

“Top three contributor Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services company, came into the portfolio in Q4 as a result of its purchase of E*TRADE. E*TRADE is a great fit on Morgan Stanley’s wealth management platform and provides a considerable amount of non-interest-bearing deposit funding. James Gorman, chairman and CEO, has steadily de-risked Morgan Stanley’s business by adding less volatile fee streams and deemphasizing the risk-obtuse culture of prior management. We believe the market will come to appreciate this mix shift over time.”


Our calculations show that Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) does not belong in our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, Morgan Stanley was in 66 hedge fund portfolios, compared to 70 funds in the third quarter. MS delivered a 29.97% return in the past 3 months.