Traders bought shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $37.09 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $22.57 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $14.52 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 24th highest net in-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded down ($0.23) for the day and closed at $29.11

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on MS shares. TheStreet upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. RBC Capital Markets set a $32.00 price objective on Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. BMO Capital Markets set a $46.00 price objective on Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. UBS AG upped their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $32.00 to $34.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Finally, Nomura restated a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.70.

The stock has a market capitalization of $55.65 billion and a P/E ratio of 13.46. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $27.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $26.07.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 29th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.75%. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. 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 on Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.06, for a total transaction of $2,656,839.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 270,880 shares in the company, valued at $7,871,772.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Eric F. Grossman sold 24,952 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.21, for a total transaction of $703,895.92. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 180,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,083,780.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MS. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 last quarter. KBC Group NV increased its position in shares of 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 last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,753,000. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 last quarter. Finally, Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 last quarter.

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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