Citigroup Upgrades Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to Buy

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Citigroup upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning, Benzinga reports. Citigroup currently has $52.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock, up from their prior target price of $48.00.

A number of other analysts have also commented on the company. Oppenheimer set a $15.00 price target on Strongbridge Biopharma and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. BMO Capital Markets cut their price objective on Pentair to $39.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Royal Bank of Canada set a GBX 5,200 ($67.95) price objective on London Stock Exchange Group and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. ValuEngine lowered Zumiez from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $56.27.

Shares of MS stock opened at $44.43 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $43.19. Morgan Stanley has a 12 month low of $36.74 and a 12 month high of $51.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $75.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 17th. The financial services provider reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.16. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 11.45% and a net margin of 16.75%. The firm had revenue of $10.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.96 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.45 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post 4.67 EPS for the current year.

In other Morgan Stanley news, insider Daniel A. Simkowitz purchased 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 18th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $47.57 per share, with a total value of $332,990.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now owns 193,089 shares in the company, valued at $9,185,243.73. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Comerica Securities Inc. lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 308.5% during the 4th quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 84,676 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,357,000 after purchasing an additional 63,950 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 11,786,637 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $467,344,000 after purchasing an additional 154,165 shares during the last quarter. Kinneret Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the 4th quarter valued at $243,000. Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 15.5% during the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 5,866 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $233,000 after purchasing an additional 787 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 6.0% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 16,970,026 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $671,686,000 after purchasing an additional 956,583 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.87% of the company’s stock.

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 Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.

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Analyst Recommendations for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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