Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) saw unusually-high trading volume on Wednesday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. Approximately 11,066,581 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 5% from the previous session’s volume of 10,512,568 shares.The stock last traded at $32.67 and had previously closed at $32.32.

The financial services provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.17. The business earned $8.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.17 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 13.27% and a return on equity of 6.41%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.34 earnings per share.

A number of research firms have weighed in on MS. Macquarie reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. Sandler O’Neill lowered shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Citigroup Inc. raised their price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $32.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 22nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $32.59.

In other Morgan Stanley news, CFO Paul C. Wirth sold 18,929 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.70, for a total value of $600,049.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 195,748 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,205,211.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, major shareholder Stanley Morgan sold 357 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23,750.00, for a total transaction of $8,478,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MS. FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 2.0% in the second quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 4,332 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 84 shares during the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 291.1% in the second quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 5,323 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 3,962 shares during the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 11.3% in the second quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 5,418 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 549 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 100.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 6,200 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $161,000 after buying an additional 3,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Handelsbanken Fonder AB acquired a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the second quarter worth $205,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.82% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market capitalization of $62.84 billion, a PE ratio of 15.2030 and a beta of 2.09. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $31.90 and a 200 day moving average price of $28.37.

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.

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