Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday, November 1st.

According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry over the last six months. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s third-quarter 2017 results benefited from improvement in investment banking and stable equity trading income while slump in fixed income trading, fall in net interest income and higher in operating expenses were the headwinds. The company’s efforts to lower balance sheet risk and strengthen wealth management operations along with its cost saving initiatives (Project Streamline) should further support profitability. However, continued fall in net interest income and overall trading woes are expected to hurt the company’s bottom-line growth in the near term.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Bank of America Corporation increased their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Buckingham Research reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $54.00 target price (up from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Monday, July 10th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $53.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, September 15th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Morgan Stanley from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $50.39.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) opened at $49.11 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $88,040.00, a PE ratio of 13.49, a P/E/G ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.66. Morgan Stanley has a 1-year low of $39.97 and a 1-year high of $51.52. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.12. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.76% and a return on equity of 10.07%. The firm had revenue of $9.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.05 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.80 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 3.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 31st were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, October 30th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.04%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.62%.

In other Morgan Stanley news, insider Jeffrey S. Brodsky sold 16,397 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.07, for a total value of $820,997.79. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 111,776 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,596,624.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President Thomas Colm Kelleher sold 40,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.59, for a total transaction of $2,023,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 692,037 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,010,151.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in MS. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 102,137,658 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,551,254,000 after acquiring an additional 969,461 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 93,483,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,165,615,000 after acquiring an additional 1,256,318 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,973,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $934,569,000 after acquiring an additional 654,034 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 7.2% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 14,456,307 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $618,456,000 after acquiring an additional 970,041 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 24.5% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 12,326,657 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $549,275,000 after acquiring an additional 2,427,130 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.67% of the company’s stock.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management. The Company’s Institutional Securities business segment provides investment banking, sales and trading, and other services to corporations, governments, financial institutions and high-to-ultra high net worth clients.

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