Barclays PLC Raises Morgan Stanley (MS) Price Target to $52.00

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) had its price objective lifted by research analysts at Barclays PLC from $48.00 to $52.00 in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has an “equal weight” rating on the financial services provider’s stock. Barclays PLC’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 5.86% from the stock’s current price.

Several other research analysts also recently commented on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Morgan Stanley from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. HSBC Holdings plc raised Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Buckingham Research reissued a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 target price (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.07.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) traded up 1.91% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $50.06. 7,685,901 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $91.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.34 and a beta of 1.61. Morgan Stanley has a 52-week low of $31.61 and a 52-week high of $50.45. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $47.26 and a 200 day moving average of $45.05.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $9.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 9.83% and a net margin of 16.77%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.80 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post $3.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

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In other Morgan Stanley news, 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 transaction of $10,036,417.16. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, 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 transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 196,708 shares in the company, valued at $9,182,329.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.5% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 5,551 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $238,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. boosted its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 3,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $164,000 after buying an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.6% during the 1st quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 5,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $220,000 after buying an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 26,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,172,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Catamount Wealth Management boosted its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Catamount Wealth Management now owns 32,477 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,447,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.17% of the company’s stock.

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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