Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, January 3rd. The firm presently has a $59.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 2.43% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry in 2017. 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 efforts to lower balance sheet risk and strengthen wealth management operations along with its cost saving initiatives (Project Streamline) will continue to support profitability. Given a solid capital position, it will likely enhance shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities. However, continued fall in net interest income and overall trading woes are expected to hurt the company’s growth in the near term.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on MS. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Buckingham Research lifted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “top pick” rating and set a $69.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Compass Point restated a “sell” rating and issued a $38.00 target price (up from $34.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Monday, September 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.07.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) traded up $0.79 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $57.60. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,380,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,840,000. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68. The company has a market cap of $104,130.00, a P/E ratio of 18.64, a P/E/G ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.65. Morgan Stanley has a 52-week low of $40.06 and a 52-week high of $57.73.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Keishi Hotsuki sold 25,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $1,250,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Alistair Darling sold 3,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value of $189,766.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,218 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $700,805.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Advisor Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 32,812 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,885,000 after buying an additional 1,858 shares during the last quarter. Regent Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Regent Investment Management LLC now owns 92,175 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,836,000 after purchasing an additional 3,515 shares during the period. K.J. Harrison & Partners Inc bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter worth about $289,000. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 1,394,977 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $73,194,000 after purchasing an additional 14,378 shares during the period. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 56.2% in the fourth quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 547,383 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $28,720,000 after purchasing an additional 196,844 shares during the period. 85.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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