Head to Head Survey: Morgan Stanley (MS) vs. Its Competitors

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is one of 31 publicly-traded companies in the “Security brokers & dealers” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Morgan Stanley to related companies based on the strength of its valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

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Morgan Stanley has a beta of 1.54, indicating that its share price is 54% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Morgan Stanley’s peers have a beta of 8.84, indicating that their average share price is 784% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Morgan Stanley and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Morgan Stanley $43.64 billion $6.11 billion 14.64
Morgan Stanley Competitors $5.87 billion $745.79 million 23.56

Morgan Stanley has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Morgan Stanley is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.


Morgan Stanley pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Morgan Stanley pays out 27.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Security brokers & dealers” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.6% and pay out 35.0% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Morgan Stanley has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Morgan Stanley is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Morgan Stanley and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Morgan Stanley 1 6 12 1 2.65
Morgan Stanley Competitors 314 1354 1421 67 2.39

Morgan Stanley currently has a consensus price target of $55.39, suggesting a potential upside of 5.06%. As a group, “Security brokers & dealers” companies have a potential upside of 1.13%. Given Morgan Stanley’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Morgan Stanley is more favorable than its peers.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

86.1% of Morgan Stanley shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.3% of shares of all “Security brokers & dealers” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of Morgan Stanley shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 21.5% of shares of all “Security brokers & dealers” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Morgan Stanley and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Morgan Stanley 14.10% 10.07% 0.85%
Morgan Stanley Competitors 5.55% 3.62% 5.12%


Morgan Stanley beats its peers on 11 of the 15 factors compared.

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. The Company’s Wealth Management business segment provides an array of financial services and solutions to individual investors and small-to-medium sized businesses and institutions covering brokerage and investment advisory services, market-making activities in fixed income securities, financial and wealth planning services, annuity and insurance products, credit and other lending products, banking and retirement plan services. The Company’s Investment Management business segment provides a range of investment strategies and products.

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