is kicking the tires at
The Wall Street firm reported Wednesday that it now owns a 5.1% equity stake in the struggling automaker. In a regulatory filing, Morgan Stanley reported owning 29.6 million shares of GM at the end of December, which is the most recent reporting period. At the end of September, Morgan Stanley reported owning 5.5 million shares of the ailing company.
Morgan Stanley, in the filing, said the shares were acquired in the normal course of business, and not for the intent of pushing for a change in control at GM. Most of the shares likely were acquired by the Wall Street firm's large in-house mutual fund group.
The stake is about half that controlled by a more active GM shareholder, Kirk Kerkorian.
Investors are required to disclose their holdings when they exceed 5% of a public company.
The fourth quarter, the time period Morgan Stanley was loading up on GM stock, was a dismal one for the Detroit-based company. GM shares tumbled 36% in the quarter to about $19.
The stock most recently traded around $21.
Last month, GM reported worse-than-expected earnings for the quarter: $4.8 billion, or $8.45 a share, including restructuring items. It was the fifth straight money-losing quarter for the company.
Since then GM has announced a massive round of layoffs and slashed its dividend in an attempt to stave off a bankruptcy filing.
Morgan Stanley, no doubt, is banking on a rebound in the company's stock.