Highland Capital Management LLC Cuts Holdings in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Highland Capital Management LLC reduced its position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MSGet Rating) by 0.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 47,953 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 187 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $3,647,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of MS. Sound Income Strategies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 78.6% in the 2nd quarter. Sound Income Strategies LLC now owns 343 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,000 after buying an additional 151 shares during the last quarter. Western Pacific Wealth Management LP purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Tyler Stone Wealth Management purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. GoalVest Advisory LLC lifted its position in Morgan Stanley by 3,233.3% during the second quarter. GoalVest Advisory LLC now owns 400 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 388 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oliver Lagore Vanvalin Investment Group purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at $32,000. 83.36% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Morgan Stanley Trading Down 1.8 %

Shares of MS stock opened at $84.77 on Friday. Morgan Stanley has a 12-month low of $72.05 and a 12-month high of $109.73. The company has a current ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.38. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $86.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $84.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $145.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 1.38.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MSGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.55 by ($0.11). Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 14.33% and a net margin of 22.76%. The firm had revenue of $13.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.50 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.89 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 6.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Morgan Stanley Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 29th were paid a dividend of $0.775 per share. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.66%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is presently 41.89%.

Morgan Stanley announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Monday, June 27th that permits the company to repurchase $20.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy up to 14.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

MS has been the topic of several analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $95.00 to $97.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their target price on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $80.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. The Goldman Sachs Group lifted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $85.00 to $94.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Barclays lowered their target price on Morgan Stanley from $123.00 to $108.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Finally, Oppenheimer decreased their price target on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $93.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, July 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $99.38.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Morgan Stanley news, major shareholder Stanley Morgan bought 8,598 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 28th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $8.41 per share, for a total transaction of $72,309.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,598 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $72,309.18. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.26% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Morgan Stanley

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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. It operates through 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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