Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $28.08, but opened at $28.28. Morgan Stanley shares last traded at $29.03, with a volume of 6,364,412 shares.

Several analysts have commented on MS shares. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods decreased their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $31.00 to $30.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Wednesday, April 13th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Monday, April 18th. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $27.68 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, May 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $32.70.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $27.15 and its 200-day moving average price is $25.99. The firm has a market cap of $55.64 billion and a P/E ratio of 13.42.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.16. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.79 EPS. The firm had revenue of $8.91 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.30 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post $2.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This is a positive change from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.76%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 27th.

In related news, COO James A. Rosenthal sold 91,426 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.06, for a total value of $2,656,839.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 270,880 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,871,772.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Donald T. Nicolaisen sold 3,302 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.88, for a total value of $92,059.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 91,704 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,556,707.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. KBC Group NV increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 59.6% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 681,478 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $21,677,000 after buying an additional 254,444 shares during the period. Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 31,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,010,000 after buying an additional 2,045 shares during the period. Trexquant Investment LP bought a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,753,000. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 34,640 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,102,000 after buying an additional 1,250 shares during the period. Finally, Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 9,499,721 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $302,186,000 after buying an additional 479,790 shares during the period.

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company is a global financial services firm that, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, advises, and originates, trades, manages and distributes capital for, governments, institutions and individuals. Its segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management.

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