Commonwealth Equity Services LLC Grows Position in Morgan Stanley (MS)

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Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lifted its position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 23.8% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 147,688 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 28,373 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $5,855,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Miles Capital Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.6% during the 4th quarter. Miles Capital Inc. now owns 6,977 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $277,000 after buying an additional 240 shares during the last quarter. Lourd Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 2.2% during the 4th quarter. Lourd Capital LLC now owns 12,089 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $479,000 after buying an additional 256 shares during the last quarter. Aspiriant LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. Aspiriant LLC now owns 6,486 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $257,000 after buying an additional 264 shares during the last quarter. Wright Investors Service Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 2.1% during the 4th quarter. Wright Investors Service Inc. now owns 14,180 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $562,000 after buying an additional 290 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 6.0% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 5,189 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after buying an additional 295 shares during the last quarter. 84.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. ValuEngine lowered Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, February 23rd. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, Barclays cut their price target on Morgan Stanley from $63.00 to $55.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $56.25.

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 transaction, the insider now directly owns 112,420 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,876,779.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Paul C. Wirth sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.40, for a total value of $1,060,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 169,031 shares in the company, valued at $7,166,914.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

NYSE:MS opened at $41.62 on Thursday. Morgan Stanley has a 12 month low of $36.74 and a 12 month high of $59.38. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67. The company has a market cap of $71.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.03, a PEG ratio of 0.74 and a beta of 1.20.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by ($0.17). Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 12.08% and a net margin of 17.43%. The firm had revenue of $8.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.84 earnings per share. Morgan Stanley’s quarterly revenue was down 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post 4.93 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, January 31st were paid a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 30th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.88%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.03%.

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Morgan Stanley Profile

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

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