Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC Sells 20,410 Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS)

Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC lowered its stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 6.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 282,588 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 20,410 shares during the quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $12,592,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.5% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 5,551 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $238,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.2% during the second quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 3,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $164,000 after purchasing an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. Savant Capital LLC grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.8% during the first quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 9,677 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $415,000 after purchasing an additional 77 shares in the last quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.6% during the first quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 5,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $220,000 after purchasing an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC grew its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.4% during the second quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 26,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,172,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. 85.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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MS has been the subject of several research analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Morgan Stanley from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $53.00 target price on Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 15th. Berenberg Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. ValuEngine cut Morgan Stanley from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Monday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $49.39.

In related news, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.68, for a total value of $1,202,803.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at $9,182,329.44. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total value of $10,036,417.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 1,602,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $75,739,301.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) traded down 0.79% during trading on Thursday, hitting $48.79. The stock had a trading volume of 3,233,680 shares. The firm has a market cap of $89.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.98 and a beta of 1.61. Morgan Stanley has a 52-week low of $30.96 and a 52-week high of $50.14. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $47.08 and its 200 day moving average is $44.94.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.76 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $9.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 9.83% and a net margin of 16.77%. The business’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.75 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post $3.48 EPS for the current year.

Morgan Stanley declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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

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