Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Morgan Stanley (MS) to Buy
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $59.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 13.05% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry in 2017. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s efforts to lower balance sheet risk and strengthen wealth management operations along with its cost saving initiatives (Project Streamline) will continue to support profitability. Given a solid capital position, it will likely enhance shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities. However, continued fall in net interest income and overall trading woes are expected to hurt the company’s growth in the near term.”
Several other research firms have also commented on MS. Wells Fargo & Co set a $55.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $59.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $52.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday. Citigroup reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $50.00 target price (up from $46.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the company from $49.00 to $54.00 in a report on Monday, October 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.16.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.81 by $0.12. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.76% and a return on equity of 10.07%. The business had revenue of $9.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.05 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.80 earnings per share. Morgan Stanley’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post 3.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, President Thomas Colm Kelleher sold 40,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.59, for a total transaction of $2,023,600.00. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 692,037 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,010,151.83. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Keishi Hotsuki sold 25,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $1,250,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 85,247 shares of company stock worth $4,284,364. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MS. Synovus Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 31.1% in the 2nd quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 9,302 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $415,000 after purchasing an additional 2,208 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 9.9% in the 2nd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 17,017 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $758,000 after purchasing an additional 1,539 shares during the period. Fiduciary Trust Co. lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 9.8% in the 2nd quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. now owns 74,547 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,322,000 after purchasing an additional 6,679 shares during the period. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC now owns 24,892 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,109,000 after purchasing an additional 698 shares during the period. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 32.8% in the 2nd quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 38,040 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,695,000 after purchasing an additional 9,387 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.49% of the company’s stock.
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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