Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 801.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 5,321,327 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 4,730,704 shares during the quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC owned approximately 0.29% of Morgan Stanley worth $237,117,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. lifted its stake 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 valued at $372,000 after purchasing an additional 22 shares during the period. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America lifted its stake 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 valued at $238,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. Smithfield Trust Co. lifted its stake 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 valued at $164,000 after purchasing an additional 42 shares during the period. Savant Capital LLC lifted its stake 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 valued at $415,000 after purchasing an additional 77 shares during the period. Finally, M Holdings Securities Inc. lifted its stake 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 valued at $220,000 after purchasing an additional 83 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.18% of the company’s stock.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) traded up 1.87% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $47.47. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,641,198 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $46.09 and a 200-day moving average price of $44.54. Morgan Stanley has a one year low of $30.62 and a one year high of $48.90. The company has a market capitalization of $87.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.60 and a beta of 1.63.

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

Morgan Stanley declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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MS has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Instinet reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (down previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Saturday, June 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Finally, Buckingham Research reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price objective (up previously from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Monday, July 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $48.48.

In other Morgan Stanley news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total transaction of $10,036,417.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 1,602,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of Morgan Stanley stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 196,708 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,182,329.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

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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