Citigroup Upgrades Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to Buy

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

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. ValuEngine lowered Zumiez from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. HSBC reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Societe Generale in a research note on Thursday, April 4th. Oppenheimer set a $15.00 price objective on Strongbridge Biopharma and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a buy rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a GBX 5,200 ($67.95) price target on London Stock Exchange Group and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Morgan Stanley has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $56.27.

Morgan Stanley stock opened at $44.43 on Friday. The business has a 50 day moving average of $43.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $75.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.64, a P/E/G ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 1.32. Morgan Stanley has a one year low of $36.74 and a one year high of $51.53.

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

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MS. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $676,319,000. ValueAct Holdings L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 26.0% during the fourth quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. now owns 26,228,561 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,039,962,000 after acquiring an additional 5,418,091 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 110.8% during the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 269,751 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,383,000 after acquiring an additional 2,767,524 shares in the last quarter. FIL Ltd increased its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 60.7% during the first quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 5,491,388 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $231,737,000 after acquiring an additional 2,074,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 7.0% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 25,890,003 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,092,558,000 after acquiring an additional 1,687,819 shares in the last quarter. 83.87% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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