Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS – Free Report) by 8.4% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 16,350,097 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,262,338 shares during the quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. owned approximately 0.98% of Morgan Stanley worth $1,435,536,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MS. Fairfield Bush & CO. acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the first quarter valued at $108,000. Baird Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 7.8% during the 1st quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 306,637 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,801,000 after acquiring an additional 22,095 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 61.9% during the 1st quarter. Zions Bancorporation N.A. now owns 6,957 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $608,000 after acquiring an additional 2,660 shares in the last quarter. Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. lifted its stake in Morgan Stanley by 64.5% during the first quarter. Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. now owns 17,070 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,492,000 after purchasing an additional 6,696 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Covestor Ltd increased its stake in Morgan Stanley by 66.9% in the first quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 626 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $55,000 after purchasing an additional 251 shares during the last quarter. 83.09% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, insider Charles Aubrey Smith III sold 5,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.41, for a total transaction of $517,496.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 136,513 shares in the company, valued at $12,615,166.33. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, insider Charles Aubrey Smith III sold 5,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.41, for a total value of $517,496.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 136,513 shares in the company, valued at $12,615,166.33. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO James P. Gorman sold 125,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.35, for a total transaction of $11,543,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,136,345 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $104,941,460.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 369,100 shares of company stock valued at $34,634,996 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.
Morgan Stanley Stock Performance
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS – Get Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $13.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.02 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 12.19% and a return on equity of 10.99%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.44 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post 5.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Morgan Stanley announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Friday, June 30th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 12.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
Morgan Stanley Increases Dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st were issued a dividend of $0.85 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 28th. This is an increase from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.78. This represents a $3.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.97%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 59.96%.
Analyst Ratings Changes
Several equities analysts have issued reports on MS shares. Oppenheimer dropped their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $110.00 to $105.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 18th. StockNews.com began coverage on Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $91.00 in a research note on Friday, July 7th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $100.00 to $103.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, HSBC initiated coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $99.00 price target for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Morgan Stanley has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $96.22.
Morgan Stanley Company Profile
Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It operates through Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.
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