Equity Research MSCI Update

Two noteworthy events have taken place since our February update: MSCI has repriced the debt that financed the acquisition of RiskMetrics last year and has issued a quarterly report for Q1-2011. The first quarter of the year showed very good performance in MSCI's main lines of business: Index and ESG and Risk management analytics, but the rest of its activities showed moderate declines (MSCI management prefers the term "stable"). Management remains optimistic about its business environment though, and given that declines took place in secondary segments, consolidated business performance was still very good.

 

An updated valuation suggests that the company is close to its fair value, which we estimate at $35.95, or roughly the current market price. We therefore remain Neutral on MSCI's stock, especially given the recent volatility of MSCI's stock price, whereby it has oscillated between $34 and $38 in the past three months.