Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Investors bought 12,195 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 129% compared to the typical daily volume of 5,327 put options.

MS has been the topic of several recent research reports. Bank of America Corporation increased their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Instinet reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (down from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, June 3rd. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $48.11.

In other news, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 20th. The stock was 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 directly owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,182,329.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the 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 transaction, the chairman now owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at $75,739,301.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew 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 worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares in the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new position in Morgan Stanley in the first quarter worth approximately $106,000. V Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Morgan Stanley in the second quarter worth approximately $106,000. Omnia Family Wealth LLC grew its stake in Morgan Stanley by 5.8% in the second quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 2,429 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WFG Advisors LP grew its stake in Morgan Stanley by 45.4% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 2,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 840 shares in the last quarter. 85.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) opened at 48.22 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $88.56 billion, a PE ratio of 13.81 and a beta of 1.63. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $46.13 and a 200-day moving average price of $44.52. Morgan Stanley has a 1-year low of $30.62 and a 1-year high of $48.90.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.76 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 9.83% and a net margin of 16.77%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.75 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post $3.49 EPS for the current year.

Morgan Stanley declared that its board has approved a share repurchase 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 shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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Morgan Stanley Company Profile

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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