Morgan Stanley’s (MS) Top Pick Rating Reaffirmed at BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets reiterated their top pick rating on shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) in a research report released on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets currently has a $69.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

MS has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. HSBC Holdings plc set a $54.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a neutral rating and issued a $49.00 price objective (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. 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, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a hold rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. Morgan Stanley presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $50.07.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) traded down 0.72% on Wednesday, reaching $49.79. The company had a trading volume of 9,775,806 shares. Morgan Stanley has a 52 week low of $32.54 and a 52 week high of $50.45. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $47.55 and its 200-day moving average is $45.17. The company has a market capitalization of $90.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.83 and a beta of 1.61.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. The company had revenue of $9.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.76% and a return on equity of 10.11%. Morgan Stanley’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.80 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post $3.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Morgan Stanley declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 31st will be given a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 30th. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 27.70%.

In other Morgan Stanley news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the company’s 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $75,739,301.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Davidson Investment Advisors boosted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 2.6% in the first quarter. Davidson Investment Advisors now owns 291,525 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $12,486,000 after purchasing an additional 7,462 shares during the last quarter. Westpac Banking Corp boosted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 28.5% in the first quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 330,925 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,425,000 after purchasing an additional 73,424 shares during the last quarter. Davidson & Garrard Inc. boosted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 2.2% in the second quarter. Davidson & Garrard Inc. now owns 5,525 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $246,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Calamos Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the second quarter valued at $1,412,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 113.2% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 206,426 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,843,000 after purchasing an additional 1,773,467 shares during the last quarter. 85.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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