GQG Partners LLC Acquires 739,529 Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

GQG Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 11.4% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 7,230,753 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 739,529 shares during the quarter. Morgan Stanley makes up approximately 1.9% of GQG Partners LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 22nd largest holding. GQG Partners LLC’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $662,794,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. E Fund Management Co. Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley in the 1st quarter valued at $205,000. Advisors Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 19.9% in the 1st quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC now owns 5,973 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $463,000 after buying an additional 993 shares during the period. Moors & Cabot Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 229.0% in the 1st quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 20,035 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,242,000 after buying an additional 13,945 shares during the period. Cresset Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 46.7% in the 1st quarter. Cresset Asset Management LLC now owns 32,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,499,000 after buying an additional 10,252 shares during the period. Finally, Harbour Investments Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley in the 1st quarter valued at $45,000. Institutional investors own 84.72% of the company’s stock.

In other Morgan Stanley news, insider Andrew M. Saperstein sold 11,465 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.97, for a total value of $1,065,901.05. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 173,075 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,090,782.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Sharon Yeshaya sold 2,500 shares of the 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 completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 24,895 shares in the company, valued at $2,380,957.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 25,430 shares of company stock worth $2,370,902. 0.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group upped their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $108.00 to $119.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 4th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $82.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $97.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, June 16th. Argus upped their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $93.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 16th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Morgan Stanley from $97.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 16th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $96.60.

Shares of MS stock traded up $1.46 on Thursday, reaching $100.03. The stock had a trading volume of 567,835 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,025,398. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.23. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $101.80 and its two-hundred day moving average is $92.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $182.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.13, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.56. Morgan Stanley has a 12 month low of $46.55 and a 12 month high of $105.95.

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

Morgan Stanley declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $12.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 7.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

About Morgan Stanley

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.

Further Reading: Forex

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

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