Investors Buy Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) on Weakness

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Traders purchased shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on weakness during trading on Friday. $118.43 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $90.51 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $27.92 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 32nd highest net in-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded down ($1.05) for the day and closed at $48.39

MS has been the subject of several recent research reports. ValuEngine cut Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Cfra reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, June 21st. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Morgan Stanley from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, Vining Sparks reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, April 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $57.05.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67. The company has a market cap of $86.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.44, a PEG ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.46.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.19. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 15.84% and a return on equity of 12.04%. The business had revenue of $10.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.05 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.87 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post 4.86 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 31st will be given a $0.30 dividend. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, July 30th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.48%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.33%.

Morgan Stanley declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $4.70 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 5.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MS. LGT Capital Partners LTD. lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 15.7% during the 2nd quarter. LGT Capital Partners LTD. now owns 639,220 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $30,299,000 after buying an additional 86,600 shares in the last quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 37.5% during the 1st quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 44,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,374,000 after buying an additional 12,000 shares in the last quarter. MML Investors Services LLC lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 14.5% during the 1st quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 51,685 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,789,000 after buying an additional 6,547 shares in the last quarter. Heritage Investors Management Corp lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Heritage Investors Management Corp now owns 206,911 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,808,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wexford Capital LP bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 1st quarter worth approximately $447,000. 85.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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. The company operates through three segments: Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management.

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