Whitnell & Co. maintained its position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 17,900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Whitnell & Co.’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $798,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MS. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust increased its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 9.1% in the second quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 2,275 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 190 shares in the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the first quarter worth about $106,000. V Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the second quarter worth about $106,000. FTB Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 8.1% in the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 2,605 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 196 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the first quarter worth about $120,000. Institutional investors own 85.67% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) opened at 47.65 on Thursday. Morgan Stanley has a 52 week low of $28.86 and a 52 week high of $48.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $87.68 billion, a PE ratio of 13.65 and a beta of 1.63. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $46.07 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.35. Morgan Stanley also saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors purchased 6,765 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 381% compared to the typical volume of 1,407 call options.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.11. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 9.83%. The company had revenue of $9.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.05 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.75 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post $3.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is currently 28.65%.

Morgan Stanley declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several research analysts recently weighed in on MS shares. Wells Fargo & Company started coverage on Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Vetr raised Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $40.50 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 price target (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $47.61.

In related news, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.68, for a total transaction of $1,202,803.56. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,182,329.44. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total transaction of $10,036,417.16. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management. The Company’s Institutional Securities business segment provides investment banking, sales and trading, and other services to corporations, governments, financial institutions and high-to-ultra high net worth clients.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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