Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) gapped up before the market opened on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $29.06, but opened at $29.17. Morgan Stanley shares last traded at $29.54, with a volume of 4,204,305 shares traded.

MS has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Vetr raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $27.68 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Buckingham Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 target price (down previously from $29.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Monday, June 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $27.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 target price (down previously from $32.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $32.70.

The company’s 50-day moving average price is $27.73 and its 200 day moving average price is $26.17. The company has a market cap of $56.70 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.72.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.16. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.79 earnings per share. The business 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. Equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post $2.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 29th were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, July 27th. This is an increase from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15.

In related news, COO James A. Rosenthal sold 91,426 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the chief operating officer now directly 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jeffrey S. Brodsky sold 19,955 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.79, for a total transaction of $574,504.45. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 123,710 shares in the company, valued at $3,561,610.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. KBC Group NV raised 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 last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter worth $1,753,000. Finally, Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. raised 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 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.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.