Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Morgan Stanley (MS) to Hold

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry over the last twelve months. 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 despite rise in interest rates remains a matter of concern. Also, overall trading woes are expected to hurt the company’s bottom-line growth in the near term.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Buckingham Research upped their price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded 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. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “top pick” rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Compass Point reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $38.00 target price (up from $34.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Monday, September 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $51.70.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) opened at $52.65 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68. The firm has a market cap of $95,190.00, a PE ratio of 14.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.64. Morgan Stanley has a fifty-two week low of $40.06 and a fifty-two week high of $54.25.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $9.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.76% and a return on equity of 10.07%. Morgan Stanley’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.80 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 3.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, President Thomas Colm Kelleher sold 40,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 692,037 shares in the company, valued at $35,010,151.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Alistair Darling sold 3,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $189,766.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,218 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $700,805.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 85,247 shares of company stock valued at $4,284,364 over the last 90 days. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Omnia Family Wealth LLC increased its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 134 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 307.5% in the third quarter. Invictus RG now owns 2,335 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 1,762 shares during the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley in the third quarter worth $116,000. Zions Bancorporation increased its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 176.1% in the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,463 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 1,571 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WFG Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of 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 buying an additional 840 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.49% 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.

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