Traders Buy Morgan Stanley (MS) on Weakness

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Investors bought shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on weakness during trading on Thursday. $113.26 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $62.83 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $50.43 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 22nd highest net in-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded down ($0.49) for the day and closed at $42.30

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MS. Vining Sparks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Oppenheimer upgraded Morgan Stanley to an “outperform” rating and set a $62.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. UBS Group upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $56.00 to $60.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, November 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. Morgan Stanley currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $56.38.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $73.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.18, a P/E/G ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 1.24.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by ($0.17). The firm had revenue of $8.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.32 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 17.43% and a return on equity of 12.08%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.84 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 4.99 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 31st will be given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 30th. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.03%.

In other news, insider Jeffrey S. Brodsky sold 15,565 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.38, for a total transaction of $675,209.70. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 112,420 shares in the company, valued at $4,876,779.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. CWM LLC grew its position in Morgan Stanley by 72.6% in the fourth quarter. CWM LLC now owns 799 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 336 shares during the period. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA grew its position in Morgan Stanley by 63.7% in the fourth quarter. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA now owns 1,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $39,000 after acquiring an additional 390 shares during the period. Vigilant Capital Management LLC grew its position in Morgan Stanley by 183.8% in the fourth quarter. Vigilant Capital Management LLC now owns 1,158 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $46,000 after acquiring an additional 750 shares during the period. Signet Investment Advisory Group Inc. bought a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter valued at $59,000. Finally, Girard Partners LTD. bought a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the third quarter valued at $115,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.98% of the company’s stock.

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About Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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 Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.

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