Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Jefferies Group (NYSE:JEF) are both financials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, valuation and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

85.6% of Morgan Stanley shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Morgan Stanley shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Morgan Stanley pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Jefferies Group does not pay a dividend. Morgan Stanley pays out 27.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Jefferies Group has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Morgan Stanley and Jefferies Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Morgan Stanley 1 6 14 2 2.74
Jefferies Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

Morgan Stanley currently has a consensus price target of $50.56, indicating a potential downside of 2.68%.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Morgan Stanley and Jefferies Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Morgan Stanley $37.95 billion 2.47 $5.98 billion $3.62 14.35
Jefferies Group N/A N/A N/A $1.09 N/A

Morgan Stanley has higher revenue and earnings than Jefferies Group. Jefferies Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Morgan Stanley, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Morgan Stanley and Jefferies Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Morgan Stanley 16.76% 10.07% 0.85%
Jefferies Group N/A N/A N/A


Morgan Stanley beats Jefferies Group on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

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. The Company’s Wealth Management business segment provides an array of financial services and solutions to individual investors and small-to-medium sized businesses and institutions covering brokerage and investment advisory services, market-making activities in fixed income securities, financial and wealth planning services, annuity and insurance products, credit and other lending products, banking and retirement plan services. The Company’s Investment Management business segment provides a range of investment strategies and products.

Jefferies Group Company Profile

Jefferies Group LLC and its subsidiaries operate as a securities and investment banking firm. The Company operates in two business segments: Capital Markets segment consists of the Company’s securities and commodities trading activities and its investment banking activities, and Asset Management segment includes asset management activities and related services. On July 1, 2011, the Company acquired the Bache Global Commodities Group from Prudential Financial, Inc., and as of November 30, 2011, the Company operated a futures commission merchant through Jefferies Bache, LLC in the United States and a global commodities and financial derivatives broker through Jefferies Bache Limited in the United Kingdom. Effective March 1, 2013, Leucadia National Corp (Leucadia) acquired the remaining 71.4% interest in Jefferies Group Inc . Effective March 1, 2013, Leucadia National Corp (Leucadia) acquired the remaining 71.4% interest in Jefferies Group Inc.

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