Traders sold shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on strength during trading on Friday. $36.20 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $68.27 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $32.07 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded up $0.69 for the day and closed at $46.19

Several brokerages have issued reports on MS. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. HSBC Holdings plc set a $54.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $48.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Macquarie reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 target price (up from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Morgan Stanley presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $48.57.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $46.36 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.59. The firm has a market capitalization of $84.83 billion, a PE ratio of 13.23 and a beta of 1.63.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its quarterly earnings results 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. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 9.83%. The firm had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.05 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.75 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post $3.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st were paid a $0.25 dividend. This is a positive change from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.16%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is presently 28.65%.

Morgan Stanley announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Morgan Stanley news, 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 value of $10,036,417.16. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, 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 completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at $9,182,329.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at $120,000. First Manhattan Co. raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 17.0% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 4,294 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 624 shares in the last quarter. Seatown Holdings Pte. Ltd. purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at $10,524,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 43.9% in the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 158,212 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,777,000 after buying an additional 48,248 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Beaumont Financial Partners LLC raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 1.7% in the first quarter. Beaumont Financial Partners LLC now owns 9,687 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $415,000 after buying an additional 160 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.20% of the company’s stock.

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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.