CNA Financial Corp Trims Holdings in Morgan Stanley (MS)

CNA Financial Corp trimmed its position in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 13.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 63,023 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 9,777 shares during the period. CNA Financial Corp’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $2,808,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 9.1% during the second quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 2,275 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the period. V Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Morgan Stanley during the second quarter valued at $106,000. Omnia Family Wealth LLC grew its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 5.8% during the second quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 2,429 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares during the period. Invictus RG bought a new position in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at $106,000. Finally, FTB Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 8.1% during the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 2,605 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 196 shares during the period. 85.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total value of $10,036,417.16. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,602,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.68, for a total transaction of $1,202,803.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at $9,182,329.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several brokerages have weighed in on MS. Zacks Investment Research raised Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday. ValuEngine lowered Morgan Stanley from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. HSBC Holdings plc set a $54.00 price target on Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on Morgan Stanley in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $48.00 price target for the company. Finally, Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $52.00 price target (up from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $48.52.

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Morgan Stanley (MS) traded up 2.36% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $45.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,680,085 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $46.22 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.51. Morgan Stanley has a one year low of $30.62 and a one year high of $48.90. The firm has a market cap of $82.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.90 and a beta of 1.63.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 9.83%. The business’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.75 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post $3.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Morgan Stanley announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st were given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.27%. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.65%.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management. The Company’s Institutional Securities business segment provides investment banking, sales and trading, and other services to corporations, governments, financial institutions and high-to-ultra high net worth clients.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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