Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Sees Large Decrease in Short Interest

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MSGet Free Report) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest in the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 12,350,000 shares, a decline of 22.5% from the April 15th total of 15,930,000 shares. Approximately 1.0% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 7,990,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.5 days.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Evercore ISI increased their target price on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $102.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Oppenheimer increased their target price on Morgan Stanley from $101.00 to $105.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their target price on Morgan Stanley from $94.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Cfra raised their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $87.00 price objective (down previously from $94.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, Morgan Stanley currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $98.30.

View Our Latest Stock Analysis on MS

Insider Activity

In related news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.21, for a total value of $9,021,000.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 414,870 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $37,425,422.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In other news, insider Andrew M. Saperstein sold 26,655 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.19, for a total value of $2,324,049.45. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 286,835 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,009,143.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.21, for a total value of $9,021,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 414,870 shares in the company, valued at $37,425,422.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 237,855 shares of company stock valued at $21,084,057. Company insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth approximately $958,105,000. Boston Partners acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the 3rd quarter valued at $477,765,000. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 17.2% in the 4th quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 38,451,051 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,585,561,000 after acquiring an additional 5,631,435 shares in the last quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board acquired a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth $512,867,000. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 21.2% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 23,474,452 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,917,159,000 after purchasing an additional 4,098,577 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.19% of the company’s stock.

Morgan Stanley Stock Up 0.2 %

Shares of MS stock traded up $0.17 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $98.28. The stock had a trading volume of 6,118,425 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,184,063. The firm has a market capitalization of $159.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 1.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.97, a current ratio of 0.77 and a quick ratio of 0.75. Morgan Stanley has a 12-month low of $69.42 and a 12-month high of $98.99. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $91.36 and its two-hundred day moving average is $86.63.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MSGet Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 16th. The financial services provider reported $2.02 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.69 by $0.33. The firm had revenue of $15.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.42 billion. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.88% and a net margin of 9.57%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.70 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 6.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Morgan Stanley Announces Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 30th will be issued a $0.85 dividend. This represents a $3.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 29th. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.93%.

About Morgan Stanley

(Get Free Report)

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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