Traders sold shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on strength during trading on Wednesday following insider selling activity. $66.61 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $109.93 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $43.32 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Morgan Stanley had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Morgan Stanley traded up $0.45 for the day and closed at $46.49Specifically, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.38, for a total value of $4,138,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 1,356,401 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $56,127,873.38. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel A. Simkowitz sold 121,351 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.05, for a total transaction of $5,102,809.55. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 385,473 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,209,139.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 728,248 shares of company stock valued at $31,022,603 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MS. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 10th. Macquarie reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Thursday. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley from $34.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 30th. Vetr downgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $32.18 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, October 24th. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Sunday, December 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $38.05.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $43.62 and its 200 day moving average price is $36.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $85.40 billion, a PE ratio of 15.79 and a beta of 1.80.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.16. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 15.76% and a return on equity of 8.48%. The company had revenue of $9 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.51 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.43 EPS. Morgan Stanley’s quarterly revenue was up 16.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post $3.42 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 31st were given a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, January 27th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.73%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is presently 27.40%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. MCF Advisors LLC increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 0.6% in the third quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 4,176 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 24,802 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,048,000 after buying an additional 91 shares during the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 2.4% in the third quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 4,294 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 0.4% in the first quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. now owns 35,092 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $878,000 after buying an additional 138 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Savant Capital LLC increased its position in Morgan Stanley by 1.4% in the third quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 10,526 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $337,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.87% of the company’s stock.

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Morgan Stanley Company Profile

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company is a global financial services firm that, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, advises, and originates, trades, manages and distributes capital for, governments, institutions and individuals. Its segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management.

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