Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 20.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 18,995 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 3,218 shares during the period. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD.’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $846,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its stake in 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 valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at about $106,000. V Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the second quarter valued at about $106,000. FTB Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Morgan Stanley by 8.1% in the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 2,605 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 196 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at about $120,000. Institutional investors own 85.67% of the company’s stock.

Morgan Stanley (MS) opened at 46.30 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $85.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.26 and a beta of 1.63. Morgan Stanley has a 1-year low of $28.86 and a 1-year high of $48.90. The company has a 50-day moving average of $46.11 and a 200-day moving average of $44.36.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $9.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 9.83%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.75 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post $3.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be given a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.16%. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 27th. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 28.65%.

Morgan Stanley announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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MS has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 18th. Rafferty Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Instinet restated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target (down from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, June 3rd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $48.02.

In other Morgan Stanley news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total value of $10,036,417.16. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,602,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 196,708 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,182,329.44. 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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