World Asset Management Inc Cuts Stock Holdings in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

World Asset Management Inc decreased its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 6.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 39,883 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 2,824 shares during the period. World Asset Management Inc’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $3,657,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the business. National Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 101.1% in the 2nd quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 24,920 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,258,000 after buying an additional 12,526 shares during the last quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 10.2% in the 2nd quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 189,743 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $17,398,000 after buying an additional 17,488 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 114,160 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,467,000 after buying an additional 4,537 shares during the last quarter. MCF Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.4% in the 2nd quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 3,563 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $327,000 after buying an additional 182 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pinnacle Wealth Management Advisory Group LLC grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 6.2% in the 2nd quarter. Pinnacle Wealth Management Advisory Group LLC now owns 24,235 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,222,000 after buying an additional 1,405 shares during the last quarter. 84.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, insider Andrew M. Saperstein sold 11,465 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.97, for a total transaction of $1,065,901.05. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 173,075 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,090,782.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Sharon Yeshaya sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.64, for a total transaction of $239,100.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 24,895 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,380,957.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 25,430 shares of company stock valued at $2,370,902 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

NYSE MS traded up $0.52 on Wednesday, hitting $102.43. The company had a trading volume of 195,593 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,122,491. The company has a market capitalization of $186.89 billion, a PE ratio of 13.57, a PEG ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.56. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $99.11 and its 200-day moving average price is $89.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.23, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.74. Morgan Stanley has a 12-month low of $45.86 and a 12-month high of $105.81.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.85 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.22. The company had revenue of $14.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.99 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 23.89% and a return on equity of 14.86%. The firm’s revenue was up 10.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.96 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post 7.46 EPS for the current year.

Morgan Stanley declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Monday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $12.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to reacquire up to 7.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 30th were issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is a positive change from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 29th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.73%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.55%.

A number of research firms recently commented on MS. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $88.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Evercore ISI reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $103.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Friday, July 2nd. Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Friday, July 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $108.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $97.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, June 16th. Finally, Argus lifted their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $93.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 16th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Morgan Stanley has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $95.74.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley operates as a global financial services company. The firm provides investment banking products and services to its clients and customers including corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. It operates through the following segments: Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management.

See Also: Dividend Yield

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

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