Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Shares Sold by South State CORP.

South State CORP. cut its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 5.0% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund owned 22,096 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 1,175 shares during the period. South State CORP.’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $1,716,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in Morgan Stanley by 10.0% during the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 316,133 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $21,665,000 after acquiring an additional 28,799 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 18.5% in the fourth quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 147,590 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $10,115,000 after purchasing an additional 23,069 shares during the period. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $59,000. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 375.0% in the fourth quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 741 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $51,000 after purchasing an additional 585 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baker Tilly Financial LLC purchased a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the 4th quarter worth approximately $528,000. 84.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Morgan Stanley stock traded up $0.39 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $92.07. 63,500 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,947,842. The company has a quick ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.16. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $85.07. Morgan Stanley has a 1 year low of $44.44 and a 1 year high of $94.27. The firm has a market capitalization of $171.30 billion, a PE ratio of 12.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.56.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 15th. The financial services provider reported $2.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.47. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 23.73% and a return on equity of 15.44%. The company had revenue of $15.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.48 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. Morgan Stanley’s revenue was up 65.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 6.96 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 30th were issued a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.52%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 29th. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is presently 21.28%.

In related news, insider Daniel A. Simkowitz sold 73,162 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.06, for a total value of $5,857,349.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 267,915 shares in the company, valued at $21,449,274.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have commented on MS. Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Wednesday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $108.00 price objective on the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised their price target on Morgan Stanley from $68.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 1st. Berenberg Bank upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $91.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 27th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Morgan Stanley from $78.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, April 19th. Finally, Daiwa Capital Markets raised Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $86.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $81.26.

Morgan Stanley Company Profile

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company operates through Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.

Recommended Story: What does the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) measure?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MS? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

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

Receive News & Ratings for Morgan Stanley Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Morgan Stanley and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.