Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. lowered its position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 33.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 552,725 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 273,616 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc.’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $24,629,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.3% in the 1st quarter. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. now owns 8,685 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $372,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.5% in the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 5,551 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $238,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 3,690 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $164,000 after acquiring an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. Savant Capital LLC raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.8% in the 1st quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 9,677 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $415,000 after acquiring an additional 77 shares in the last quarter. Finally, M Holdings Securities Inc. raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 5,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $220,000 after acquiring an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. 85.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (down previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, June 3rd. Buckingham Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price objective (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 price objective (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Morgan Stanley has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $48.57.

In other Morgan Stanley news, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.68, for a total value of $1,202,803.56. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 196,708 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,182,329.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total transaction of $10,036,417.16. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at $75,739,301.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.35% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) opened at 45.07 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $46.38 and a 200-day moving average price of $44.55. Morgan Stanley has a 1-year low of $30.62 and a 1-year high of $48.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $82.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.91 and a beta of 1.63. Morgan Stanley also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors acquired 6,765 call options on the company. This is an increase of 381% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,407 call options.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.76 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.05 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.77% and a return on equity of 9.83%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.75 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post $3.50 EPS for the current year.

Morgan Stanley announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st were issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. This is a positive change from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.22%. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 28.65%.

About Morgan Stanley

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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