Traders purchased shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on weakness during trading on Friday. $60.40 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $31.19 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $29.21 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 17th highest net in-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded down ($0.21) for the day and closed at $29.17

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

The company’s 50-day moving average price is $27.58 and its 200 day moving average price is $26.12. The firm has a market capitalization of $55.77 billion and a PE ratio of 13.49.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 15th. Investors of record on Friday, July 29th will be given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 27th. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15.

In related news, insider Jeffrey S. Brodsky sold 19,955 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.79, for a total value of $574,504.45. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 123,710 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,561,610.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO James A. Rosenthal sold 91,426 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 25th. The stock was 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,871,772.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. Trexquant Investment LP bought a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter valued at $1,753,000. Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. boosted 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 valued at $1,010,000 after buying an additional 2,045 shares during the period. Finally, KBC Group NV boosted 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 valued at $21,677,000 after buying an additional 254,444 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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