E-Trade Financial Pops on Buyout Buzz

Analysts were split heading into today

Managing Editor
Feb 20, 2020 at 10:38 AM
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Shares of E-Trade Financial Corp (NASDAQ:ETFC) are surging this morning, last seen up 24.7% at $56.04, earlier off an annual high of $56.30, after news it has accepted a buyout offer from Morgan Stanley (MS), for $13 billion in stock. The purchase will allow Morgan Stanley to build on its wealth management sector through the addition of E-Trade's 5.2 million clients and $360 billion in client retail assets. The deal is expected to finalize by the end of 2020.

ETFC has had a volatile year on the charts. The equity fell to a bottom of $34.68 on Oct. 3, but as of last night's close, has already tacked on nearly 30%. Today's surge has the shares pushing above recent resistance at the 50-day moving average, a ceiling that capped a breakout attempt earlier this month. Year-to-date, ETFC is now back above its breakeven mark.

Analysts have yet to weigh in on the buyout news, but coming into today were almost evenly split. Specifically, six out of 11 of covering firms sport a "buy" or "strong buy" rating, three a tepid "hold," and just one a "sell."

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