Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry over the past three months, supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s efforts to lower balance sheet risk and strengthen wealth management operations along with its cost saving initiatives will continue to support growth. Further, lower tax rates will aid profitability in the quarters ahead. However, persistent fall in net interest income (despite rising interest rates) remains a concern. Also, overall trading weakness is expected to hurt the company’s top line growth in the near-term.”

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Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. UBS upgraded Morgan Stanley to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Atlantic Securities upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Finally, Societe Generale set a $61.00 price target on Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $54.39.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) opened at $57.11 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.75. Morgan Stanley has a 52 week low of $40.06 and a 52 week high of $59.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $102,045.63, a P/E ratio of 18.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.50.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.07. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.07% and a net margin of 14.10%. The business had revenue of $9.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post 4.53 EPS for the current year.

In other Morgan Stanley news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.34, for a total value of $5,534,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 52,204 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.35, for a total value of $2,889,491.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 239,254 shares of company stock worth $13,085,019 in the last three months. 0.24% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Iberiabank Corp boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 11.8% during the fourth quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 9,121 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $479,000 after acquiring an additional 960 shares during the last quarter. Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. now owns 18,018 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $945,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Bollard Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 108,699 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,703,000 after acquiring an additional 1,040 shares during the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 2.7% during the third quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 39,081 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,883,000 after acquiring an additional 1,041 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Covenant Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. Covenant Asset Management LLC now owns 33,036 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,733,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071 shares during the last quarter. 86.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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