Virtus Fund Advisers LLC cut its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 2.9% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 179,085 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 5,273 shares during the period. Virtus Fund Advisers LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $9,397,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in MS. Exane Derivatives grew its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 303.9% during the 4th quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 1,979 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 1,489 shares during the period. Invictus RG grew its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 307.5% during the 3rd quarter. Invictus RG now owns 2,335 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after acquiring an additional 1,762 shares during the period. Rational Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $116,000. Zions Bancorporation lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 176.1% in the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,463 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $119,000 after purchasing an additional 1,571 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Dallas Securities Inc. purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley in the 4th quarter worth approximately $121,000. Institutional investors own 86.32% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Societe Generale set a $61.00 price target on Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Friday, January 19th. UBS Group raised Morgan Stanley to an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Atlantic Securities raised Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $61.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Vining Sparks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Monday, January 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.07.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.07. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.03% and a net margin of 14.10%. The company had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.81 EPS. Morgan Stanley’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 31st were issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, January 30th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.82%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is presently 32.36%.
In related news, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 52,204 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.35, for a total transaction of $2,889,491.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Keishi Hotsuki sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $1,250,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 268,104 shares of company stock worth $14,524,785 in the last 90 days. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Morgan Stanley Profile
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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