WFG Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 45.4% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 840 shares during the period. WFG Advisors LP’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $120,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Morgan Stanley by 1.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 102,137,658 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,551,254,000 after purchasing an additional 969,461 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Morgan Stanley by 1.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 93,483,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,165,615,000 after purchasing an additional 1,256,318 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its position in Morgan Stanley by 16.9% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 46,221,986 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,980,150,000 after purchasing an additional 6,692,676 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in Morgan Stanley by 3.2% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,973,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $934,569,000 after purchasing an additional 654,034 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Morgan Stanley by 7.2% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 14,456,307 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $618,456,000 after purchasing an additional 970,041 shares during the last quarter. 85.17% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. HSBC Holdings plc set a $54.00 price target on Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $49.00 price target (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Buckingham Research boosted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $50.39.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) opened at 50.68 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $91.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.07 and a beta of 1.61. Morgan Stanley has a 52 week low of $32.56 and a 52 week high of $50.91. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $47.82 and its 200 day moving average price is $45.26.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $9.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.76% and a return on equity of 10.11%. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post $3.57 EPS for the current year.

Morgan Stanley declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback 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 purchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 31st will be issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 30th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.97%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.70%.

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In other news, insider Jeffrey S. Brodsky sold 16,397 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.07, for a total transaction of $820,997.79. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 111,776 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,596,624.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the firm’s 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 $75,739,301.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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.

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

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