Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $49.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 7.10% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have significantly outperformed the industry, over the last six months. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s efforts to offload its non-core assets to lower balance sheet risk and cost saving initiatives (Project Stremline) will likely lead to improvement in profitability. These initiatives, along with enhanced capital deployment should boost investors’ confidence in the stock. However, continued fall in corporate loan balances leading to decline in interest income remains a near-term concern for the company.”
Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. HSBC Holdings plc set a $54.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Vetr upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $40.50 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Macquarie restated an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 target price (up from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $48.52.
Morgan Stanley (MS) opened at 45.75 on Monday. Morgan Stanley has a 12 month low of $30.62 and a 12 month high of $48.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $84.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.11 and a beta of 1.63. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $46.19 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.50.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $9.50 billion during 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 firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.75 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post $3.51 EPS for the current year.
Morgan Stanley declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
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In other news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total transaction of $10,036,417.16. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.68, for a total transaction of $1,202,803.56. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,182,329.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 9.1% during the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. V Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 2nd quarter valued at $106,000. Omnia Family Wealth LLC raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.8% during the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 1st quarter valued at $106,000. Finally, FTB Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 8.1% during the 1st 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 in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.20% of the company’s stock.
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.
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