Investors Buy Morgan Stanley (MS) on Weakness

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Investors bought shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $130.91 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $78.20 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $52.71 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 29th highest net in-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded down ($0.92) for the day and closed at $43.03

A number of research analysts have recently commented on MS shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 20th. Credit Suisse Group cut their price target on shares of Morgan Stanley from $62.00 to $58.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, December 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cut shares of Morgan Stanley from an “outperform” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of Morgan Stanley to a “buy ms” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Finally, Barclays cut their price target on shares of Morgan Stanley from $63.00 to $55.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.25.

The firm has a market cap of $75.24 billion, a PE ratio of 9.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.06 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 0.81.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.90 by ($0.17). Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 17.43% and a return on equity of 12.02%. The business had revenue of $8.55 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.32 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.84 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 4.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Morgan Stanley news, insider Jeffrey S. Brodsky sold 15,565 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.38, for a total transaction of $675,209.70. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 112,420 shares in the company, valued at $4,876,779.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Paul C. Wirth sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.40, for a total transaction of $1,060,000.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 169,031 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,166,914.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Sowell Financial Services LLC grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 10.5% during the fourth quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 10,116 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $401,000 after acquiring an additional 963 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth about $676,319,000. Actinver Wealth Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth about $648,000. Teacher Retirement System of Texas grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 7.6% during the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 709,026 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $28,113,000 after acquiring an additional 49,879 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aspire Private Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter worth about $72,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.92% of the company’s stock.

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Morgan Stanley Company Profile (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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