The commonwealth of Massachusetts has fined investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) $5 million for “improper influence” related to its dealing with research analysts prior to the March IPO of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).
The ruling stems from a notice sent by Facebook’s CFO to Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter of the offering, on the first day of Facebook’s roadshow leading up to the IPO in which the company CFO he was no longer confident in the revenue guidance he had offered to analysts. The filing was later amended, but not before Facebook’s CFO had made numerous phone calls to some analysts conveying information that was not available in the existing filing.
Massachusetts has already fined Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) $2 million for supervision failures when the bank’s leading Internet analyst broke the rules related to disclosures about Facebook and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Shares of Morgan Stanley are up about 0.2% in after-hours trading today, at $18.56 in a 52-week range of $12.26 to $21.19.