Earnest Partners LLC Reduces Position in Morgan Stanley (MS)

Earnest Partners LLC reduced its holdings in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 6.2% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 518,573 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 34,278 shares during the quarter. Earnest Partners LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $24,980,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in MS. Omnia Family Wealth LLC raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.8% during the second quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 2,429 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 134 shares during the period. Invictus RG raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 307.5% during the third quarter. Invictus RG now owns 2,335 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $112,000 after acquiring an additional 1,762 shares during the period. Rational Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the third quarter valued at approximately $116,000. WFG Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 45.4% during the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 2,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 840 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Investment Services Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 163.1% during the third quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 2,655 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 1,646 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.60% of the company’s stock.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) traded up $0.54 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $52.89. 6,488,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,378,990. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.74. The company has a market capitalization of $95,619.78, a P/E ratio of 14.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 1.64. Morgan Stanley has a 12 month low of $40.06 and a 12 month high of $53.37.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $9.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.76% and a return on equity of 10.07%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.80 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post 3.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 31st were given a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.89%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, October 30th. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio is 27.70%.

A number of brokerages recently commented on MS. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday. Citigroup reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (up from $46.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Buckingham Research boosted their price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $50.52.

In related news, insider Keishi Hotsuki sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $1,250,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Alistair Darling sold 3,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $189,766.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 14,218 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $700,805.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 85,247 shares of company stock valued at $4,284,364 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

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Morgan Stanley 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.

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

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