Westpac Banking Corp Lowers Stake in Morgan Stanley (MS)

Westpac Banking Corp reduced its position in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 10.6% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 86,466 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 10,294 shares during the quarter. Westpac Banking Corp’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $4,537,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.4% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 5,937,332 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $311,452,000 after acquiring an additional 84,528 shares during the last quarter. Creative Planning boosted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 4.9% during the 4th quarter. Creative Planning now owns 58,950 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,093,000 after acquiring an additional 2,738 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service boosted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. National Pension Service now owns 1,168,840 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $61,329,000 after acquiring an additional 3,070 shares during the last quarter. E&G Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 28.6% during the 4th quarter. E&G Advisors LP now owns 13,500 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $708,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 37.7% during the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,594,220 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $293,527,000 after acquiring an additional 1,532,991 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.64% of the company’s stock.

In other Morgan Stanley news, Director Alistair Darling sold 3,850 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value of $189,766.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 14,218 shares in the company, valued at $700,805.22. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Keishi Hotsuki sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $1,250,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) opened at $57.46 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.74. Morgan Stanley has a 52 week low of $40.06 and a 52 week high of $57.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $103,880.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.65.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.77 by $0.07. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.03% and a net margin of 14.10%. The business had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.81 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post 4.38 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 30th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.74%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 32.36%.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Friday. Wells Fargo & Co set a $55.00 price target on Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Barclays increased their price target on Morgan Stanley from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the company from $49.00 to $54.00 in a report on Monday, October 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.74.

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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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