Verition Fund Management LLC reduced its stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 38.1% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 21,663 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 13,312 shares during the period. Verition Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $1,682,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the business. Evercore Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.6% during the first quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,291,802 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $100,321,000 after buying an additional 7,187 shares during the last quarter. Odey Asset Management Group Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 18.6% during the first quarter. Odey Asset Management Group Ltd now owns 77,100 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,988,000 after buying an additional 12,100 shares during the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 226.5% during the first quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 586,507 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $45,548,000 after buying an additional 406,880 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Square Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at approximately $368,000. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.9% during the first quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 1,588,268 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $123,345,000 after buying an additional 88,023 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.33% of the company’s stock.
NYSE MS opened at $95.68 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $178.02 billion, a PE ratio of 12.11, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.56. Morgan Stanley has a 1 year low of $45.86 and a 1 year high of $96.05. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $90.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.16, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.73.
Morgan Stanley declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Monday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $12.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase up to 7.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 30th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.93%. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 29th. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is presently 21.28%.
In other Morgan Stanley news, insider Andrew M. Saperstein sold 11,465 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.97, for a total transaction of $1,065,901.05. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.
MS has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Argus lifted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $93.00 to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 16th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $103.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $85.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 16th. Oppenheimer boosted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $99.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $68.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 1st. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $95.74.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley operates as a global financial services company. The firm provides investment banking products and services to its clients and customers including corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. It operates through the following segments: Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management.
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