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MSCI – Market expectations are for Uniform ROA to reach record highs, but management may have concerns about ESG, indices, and partnerships

January 7, 2021

  • MSCI Inc. (MSCI:USA) currently trades at a historical high relative to UAFRS-based (Uniform) earnings, with a 46.4x Uniform P/E. At these levels, the market has bullish expectations for the firm, but management may have concerns about the ESG business, indices growth, and their partnerships
  • Specifically, management may lack confidence in their ability to monetize ESG data, maintain their competitive advantages in ESG, and drive growth. Moreover, they may be concerned about their MSCI ESG ratings on Bloomberg terminals and their ability to make acquisitions. In addition, they may lack confidence in their ability to see significant segment growth in the MSCI indexes, maintain the partnership they have with Carbon Delta management, and acquire new data sets through partnerships. Finally, they may have concerns about their ability to sustain the performance of their equity investment in Burgiss and remain focused in supporting their clients