Kentucky Retirement Systems Purchases New Stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) in the 2nd quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm acquired 86,676 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $7,947,000.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 209.5% in the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 13,341,552 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,036,106,000 after purchasing an additional 9,031,544 shares in the last quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley in the first quarter valued at about $327,957,000. Fayez Sarofim & Co acquired a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $264,248,000. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB acquired a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $197,552,000. Finally, Cullen Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 265.4% during the 1st quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC now owns 2,965,112 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $230,271,000 after acquiring an additional 2,153,712 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.72% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CFO Sharon Yeshaya sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.64, for a total transaction of $239,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 24,895 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,380,957.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Andrew M. Saperstein sold 11,465 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.97, for a total transaction of $1,065,901.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 25,430 shares of company stock valued at $2,370,902 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $103.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Friday, July 2nd. Piper Sandler raised their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $93.00 to $100.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 16th. Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Friday, July 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $108.00 price target on the stock. Seaport Global Securities cut shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $97.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, June 16th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.74.

Shares of NYSE MS traded up $2.24 during trading on Monday, hitting $105.15. 116,771 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,094,211. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $100.74 and a 200-day moving average price of $91.02. Morgan Stanley has a 1 year low of $45.92 and a 1 year high of $105.81. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.23. The firm has a market capitalization of $191.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.70, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.56.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.22. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 14.86% and a net margin of 23.89%. The business had revenue of $14.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.99 billion. The company’s revenue was up 10.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.96 EPS. Research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 7.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Morgan Stanley announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Monday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $12.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 7.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 30th were paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is an increase from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 29th. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is currently 42.55%.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley operates as a global financial services company. The firm provides investment banking products and services to its clients and customers including corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. It operates through the following segments: Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management.

Further Reading: Cash Asset Ratio

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

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