Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $36.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Earnings estimates have been rising ahead of Morgan Stanley's third-quarter 2016 results. Further, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. The company’s efforts to offload its non-core assets to lower balance-sheet risks, control expenses and shift focus toward less capital-incentive businesses are commendable. In addition, the company has significantly diversified its footprints and product portfolio. Also, top line growth is likely to be driven by improvement in net interest income and steady rise in fixed income trading revenue. However, equity trading income distress may continue owing to macroeconomic headwinds and lower level of client activity. Further, concerns related to new regulatory requirements and intense pricing competition make us apprehensive.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Buckingham Research reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $27.00 price objective (down previously from $29.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Sunday, June 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $27.00 price objective (down previously from $32.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $32.41.

Analyst Recommendations for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) traded down 0.92% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $32.26. The company had a trading volume of 6,238,937 shares. The stock has a market cap of $61.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.92 and a beta of 2.09. Morgan Stanley has a 12-month low of $21.16 and a 12-month high of $35.74. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $31.55 and a 200 day moving average price of $27.92.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.16. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 13.27% and a return on equity of 6.41%. The business had revenue of $8.91 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.30 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.79 EPS. Morgan Stanley’s revenue was down 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post $2.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Morgan Stanley news, major shareholder Stanley Morgan sold 357 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23,750.00, for a total value of $8,478,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Donald T. Nicolaisen sold 3,302 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.88, for a total transaction of $92,059.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 91,704 shares in the company, valued at $2,556,707.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MS. Artemis Investment Management LLP raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 32.1% in the second quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP now owns 700,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $18,197,000 after buying an additional 170,000 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.9% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 6,209,559 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $155,316,000 after buying an additional 234,207 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 36.8% in the second quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 821,395 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $21,340,000 after buying an additional 220,974 shares during the period. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at about $1,021,000. Finally, PGGM Investments raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.0% in the second quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 986,220 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,622,000 after buying an additional 28,451 shares during the period. 83.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Morgan Stanley Company Profile

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company is a global financial services firm that, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, advises, and originates, trades, manages and distributes capital for, governments, institutions and individuals. Its segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MS

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