Morgan Stanley (MS) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $51.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Also, the company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s efforts to strengthen wealth management business, focus on corporate lending, steady loan growth, higher interest rates and normalized levels of trading activities will further support revenues. While slowdown in debt originations and mounting expenses remain major concerns, enhanced capital deployment activities reflect a strong balance sheet position.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on MS. Oppenheimer raised shares of Morgan Stanley to an outperform rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Vining Sparks reissued a buy rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. HSBC cut shares of Morgan Stanley from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $54.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $56.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set an outperform rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $58.29.

Shares of NYSE MS opened at $41.32 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $71.08 billion, a PE ratio of 11.48, a PEG ratio of 0.71 and a beta of 1.25. Morgan Stanley has a twelve month low of $40.95 and a twelve month high of $59.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 16th. The financial services provider reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $9.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.55 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 15.93% and a return on equity of 12.51%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post 4.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 31st were issued a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 30th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.90%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 33.33%.

In related news, major shareholder Stanley Morgan sold 327 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23,000.00, for a total transaction of $7,521,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of MS. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Morgan Stanley by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 109,110,758 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,171,848,000 after buying an additional 3,264,493 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 45,817,038 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,171,728,000 after purchasing an additional 1,936,093 shares during the last quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 11.2% during the 3rd quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. now owns 20,810,470 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $969,144,000 after purchasing an additional 2,100,850 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 11,754,253 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $557,223,000 after purchasing an additional 213,537 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pzena Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 8,247,266 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $390,920,000 after purchasing an additional 47,260 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.08% of the company’s stock.

About Morgan Stanley

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. The company operates Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.

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