Morgan Stanley (MS) Stake Lessened by Wakefield Asset Management LLLP

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Wakefield Asset Management LLLP lowered its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 99.0% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 686 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 71,521 shares during the period. Wakefield Asset Management LLLP’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $29,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Morgan Stanley in the fourth quarter worth about $676,319,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 4,072.2% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 13,548,246 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $342,000 after purchasing an additional 13,223,517 shares in the last quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. raised its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 26.0% in the fourth quarter. ValueAct Holdings L.P. now owns 26,228,561 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,039,962,000 after purchasing an additional 5,418,091 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 136.8% in the fourth quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 5,453,354 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $216,226,000 after purchasing an additional 3,150,224 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 110.8% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 269,751 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,383,000 after purchasing an additional 2,767,524 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.21% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Daniel A. Simkowitz acquired 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 18th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $47.57 per share, for a total transaction of $332,990.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 193,089 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,185,243.73. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Paul C. Wirth sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.40, for a total transaction of $1,060,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 169,031 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,166,914.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

MS opened at $44.01 on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley has a 52-week low of $36.74 and a 52-week high of $55.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.80. The stock has a market cap of $74.32 billion, a PE ratio of 9.55, a P/E/G ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.24.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 17th. The financial services provider reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.16. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.75% and a return on equity of 11.45%. The firm had revenue of $10.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.96 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.45 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post 4.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 29th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.73%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.03%.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Citigroup downgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $48.00 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, April 18th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $60.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Oppenheimer boosted their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $60.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. Morgan Stanley currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.24.

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Morgan Stanley Company Profile

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company operates through Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.

Further Reading: Candlestick

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

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