Norway Savings Bank lowered its stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS – Free Report) by 9.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,453 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 250 shares during the quarter. Norway Savings Bank’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $209,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management lifted its position in Morgan Stanley by 46.9% in the first quarter. Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management now owns 9,872 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $867,000 after buying an additional 3,150 shares during the last quarter. Aureus Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Morgan Stanley by 4.8% during the first quarter. Aureus Asset Management LLC now owns 57,717 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,068,000 after purchasing an additional 2,651 shares during the period. HBW Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter worth about $237,000. Brookstone Capital Management increased its stake in Morgan Stanley by 7.8% during the first quarter. Brookstone Capital Management now owns 10,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $912,000 after purchasing an additional 743 shares during the period. Finally, Hudson Valley Investment Advisors Inc. ADV increased its stake in Morgan Stanley by 10.9% during the first quarter. Hudson Valley Investment Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 58,214 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,111,000 after purchasing an additional 5,720 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.09% of the company’s stock.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of analysts have issued reports on the stock. HSBC assumed coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. They set a “buy” rating and a $99.00 price target on the stock. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Atlantic Securities boosted their price target on shares of Morgan Stanley from $85.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Bank of America boosted their price target on shares of Morgan Stanley from $95.00 to $100.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $91.00 in a research note on Friday, July 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $96.22.
In other news, CEO James P. Gorman sold 125,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.35, for a total value of $11,543,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,136,345 shares in the company, valued at $104,941,460.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. In related news, insider Edward N. Pick sold 100,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.33, for a total transaction of $9,433,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 604,845 shares in the company, valued at approximately $57,055,028.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO James P. Gorman sold 125,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.35, for a total value of $11,543,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,136,345 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $104,941,460.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 369,100 shares of company stock worth $34,634,996 over the last 90 days. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Morgan Stanley Price Performance
Morgan Stanley stock traded down $0.66 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $88.41. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 17,629,508 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,374,314. Morgan Stanley has a fifty-two week low of $74.67 and a fifty-two week high of $100.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.78. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $87.47 and its 200 day simple moving average is $86.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $146.49 billion, a PE ratio of 15.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 1.35.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS – Get Free Report) last released its earnings results 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. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.99% and a net margin of 12.19%. The company had revenue of $13.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.02 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.44 earnings per share. Morgan Stanley’s quarterly revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post 5.83 earnings per share for the current year.
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 given a $0.85 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 28th. This represents a $3.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.85%. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.78. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 59.96%.
Morgan Stanley announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Friday, June 30th that authorizes the company to buyback $20.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy up to 12.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
About Morgan Stanley
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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