HSBC Holdings plc upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has $53.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

MS has been the topic of a number of other reports. Vetr upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $40.50 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Macquarie restated an outperform rating and issued a $52.00 target price (up from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a buy rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, July 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $48.48.

Morgan Stanley (MS) opened at 47.32 on Friday. Morgan Stanley has a 12-month low of $30.62 and a 12-month high of $48.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $86.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.55 and a beta of 1.63. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $46.11 and a 200-day moving average of $44.52. Morgan Stanley also saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors purchased 6,765 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 381% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,407 call options.

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

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Morgan Stanley announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,366 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.26, for a total value of $10,036,417.16. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 1,602,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,739,301.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Jonathan Pruzan sold 25,767 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.68, for a total transaction of $1,202,803.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly 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. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 102,137,658 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,551,254,000 after acquiring an additional 969,461 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 93,483,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,165,615,000 after acquiring an additional 1,256,318 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 16.9% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 46,221,986 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,980,150,000 after acquiring an additional 6,692,676 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,973,434 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $934,569,000 after acquiring an additional 654,034 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 7.2% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 14,456,307 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $618,456,000 after acquiring an additional 970,041 shares in the last quarter. 85.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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