Morgan Stanley (MS) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm currently 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 11.05% from the stock’s current price.

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.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $53.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Compass Point reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $38.00 price target (up previously from $34.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Finally, Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.16.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) traded up $0.80 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $53.13. 8,677,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,425,967. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68. The company has a market capitalization of $95,570.00, a P/E ratio of 14.68, a P/E/G ratio of 1.06 and a beta of 1.65. Morgan Stanley has a twelve month low of $40.06 and a twelve month high of $54.25.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.05 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.80 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 3.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Morgan Stanley news, President Thomas Colm Kelleher sold 40,000 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.59, for a total value of $2,023,600.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 692,037 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $35,010,151.83. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Alistair Darling sold 3,850 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $189,766.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,218 shares in the company, valued at $700,805.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 85,247 shares of company stock valued at $4,284,364 in the last three months. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MS. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 5,268.0% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 9,590,843 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $427,365,000 after purchasing an additional 9,412,177 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 801.0% during the second quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 5,321,327 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $237,117,000 after buying an additional 4,730,704 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 92.0% during the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 9,653,836 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $430,175,000 after buying an additional 4,625,783 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 94.3% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 7,091,745 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $316,008,000 after buying an additional 3,442,450 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Standard Life Investments LTD grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 837.7% during the second quarter. Standard Life Investments LTD now owns 3,570,298 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $159,038,000 after buying an additional 3,189,560 shares during the last quarter. 85.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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