Kentucky Retirement Systems Invests $7.95 Million in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm acquired 86,676 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $7,947,000.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Keel Point LLC acquired a new position in Morgan Stanley during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $248,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Morgan Stanley during the second quarter valued at $26,000. Selective Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley in the 2nd quarter valued at $28,000. Cowen Prime Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Morgan Stanley in the 2nd quarter worth $29,000. Finally, KB Financial Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the 1st quarter worth about $30,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.72% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Friday, July 16th. They set a “buy” rating and a $108.00 target price for the company. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $88.00 to $97.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on Morgan Stanley from $82.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 7th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 16th. Finally, Bank of America raised their price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley from $92.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 4th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $95.74.

MS stock traded up $2.24 during trading on Monday, hitting $105.15. The stock had a trading volume of 116,771 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,094,211. Morgan Stanley has a twelve month low of $45.92 and a twelve month high of $105.81. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $100.74 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $91.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.23, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $191.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.70, a PEG ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.56.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.22. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 14.86% and a net margin of 23.89%. The business had revenue of $14.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.99 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.96 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Morgan Stanley will post 7.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 30th were paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 29th. This is a boost from Morgan Stanley’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. Morgan Stanley’s payout ratio is 42.55%.

Morgan Stanley announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Monday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $12.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire up to 7.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Morgan Stanley news, insider Andrew M. Saperstein sold 11,465 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.97, for a total value of $1,065,901.05. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 173,075 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,090,782.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Sharon Yeshaya sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.64, for a total transaction of $239,100.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 24,895 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,380,957.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 25,430 shares of company stock valued at $2,370,902 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Morgan Stanley Profile

Morgan Stanley operates as a global financial services company. The firm provides investment banking products and services to its clients and customers including corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. It operates through the following segments: Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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