NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had expressed opposition to Halliburton's (HAL - Get Report) acquisition of Baker Hughes (BHI), Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank said that the news reported by Bloomberg was generally "noise" and not really new. Both stocks are climbing today after falling yesterday afternoon in the wake of the publication of the Bloomberg story.
WHAT'S NEW: After meeting with a former head of litigation at the Department of Justice, Morgan Stanley analyst Ole Slorer called the Bloomberg story "noise." The article simply summarized actions that DOJ would normally take and risks that are not significant, the analyst stated. Moreover, Slorer said he was more upbeat about the deal following his discussions with the former official. Although some fear that the U.S. could block the deal because Halliburton's share of bundled services would be too high afterward, similar concerns have rarely prevented deals from being closed in the past, the analyst stated. Additionally, Halliburton has taken several actions that minimize the risk that the deal will be delayed, according to Slorer, who raised his price target on Halliburton to $62 from $60 and increased his price target on Baker Hughes to $88 from $86, citing his belief that the deal will close. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Urban wrote that the the article was "clearly a concern and credible," but he added that the story contained little new information. While investors are "laser focused" on the share of the oil services market that the combined company would control, the point of the deal is to lower customers' costs and the company's operating costs, Urban believes. If these goals are achieved, the combined company's market share will rise naturally, according to the analyst, who kept a $68 price target and Buy rating on Halliburton.
PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Halliburton gained 2.1% to $42.42 and Baker Hughes rose 1.5% to $59.15.